Rod Paige
Founder, Former U.S. Secretary of Education


  • No Child Left Behind

Rod Paige was the seventh U.S. Secretary of Education. Born in 1933 in segregated Monticello, Miss., Paige, the son of a public school principal and a librarian, earned a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University and a master’s and doctorate from Indiana University. Paige began working with students early in his career as a teacher and a coach. He then served for a decade as dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, where he worked to ensure that future educators would receive the training and expertise necessary to succeed in the classroom. He also established the university’s Center for Excellence in Urban Education, a research facility that concentrates on issues related to instruction and management in urban school systems. In 1994, Paige became superintendent of Houston Independent School District. During his tenure as secretary at the U.S. Department of Education from 2001 to 2005, Paige spearheaded the implementation of the historic No Child Left Behind Act. After he left the administration in 2005, Paige served as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.