Who is Margaret Spellings?

raleigh mann

Raleigh Mann

Our university’s system Board of Governors, manipulating rules to speed up the process, has handed the presidency of our state’s university system to a non-academic with strong Republican political credentials.

Margaret Spellings will replace Tom Ross, a distinguished leader this board praised for his effectiveness, but fired for reasons they could not explain.

I will explain it for them.

Tom Ross is a Democrat and that, we’ve learned, is unacceptable.

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So, who is Margaret Spellings?  Well, her political connections to George W. Bush and his political strategist Karl Rove go back about 25 years when she lobbied for the Texas School Boards Association  and Bush was running for Governor of Texas.

Bush chose Spellings to run his 1994 gubernatorial campaign.  When he became president, he made Spellings his domestic policy adviser then Education Secretary.  That’s when she championed No Child Left Behind, the program that forced teachers everywhere to scrap their lesson plans and devote their efforts to preparing their students to take lots of tests.

She left that job and moved on to head the Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.  Spellings does have academic credentials of a sort,  She served on some corporate boards.  One of them is the parent company of the for-profit university, the University of Phoenix.  Another is a collector of student loans.

The cynical behavior of this board of politicians who chose her is so far beyond disgraceful, we struggle to find adequate words to express our disgust.

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James Moeser, former UNC Chancellor, tried.  He said of this board’s in-fighting and the state legislature’s meddling that the worst aspects of partisan politics have now infected the leadership of this university system.

Partisan politics have no place in education.


When politicians tamper with education, the people always lose.

— Raleigh Mann



Group Says Waivers Leave Behind At-Risk Students

Photo by Doug Wilson

WASHINGTON – A coalition of education and civil rights activists says millions of at-risk students could fall through the cracks as a result of the Obama administration’s decision to allow states to ignore parts of the No Child Left Behind education law.

The Campaign for High School Equity says waivers have allowed almost 2,300 schools to shed their label of seriously troubled.