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Name: Spellings, Margaret
Current Position: Former Secretary
A native of Michigan, Margaret Spellings served as the Secretary of Education from January 2005 until the inauguration of Barack Obama..
Spellings graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in political science, before working in an education reform commission under Texas Governor William P. Clements and as associate executive director for the Texas Association of School Boards.
Spellings served as political director for George W. Bush’s first gubernatorial campaign in 1994, and later she became a senior advisor to Governor Bush from 1995 to 2000. She followed Bush to the White House, where she served as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, helping to create the No Child Left Behind Act. She also crafted policies on education, immigration, health care, labor, transportation, justice, housing, and other elements of the President’s domestic agenda.
Only days after becoming the Secretary of Education, Spellings sent a letter to the head of PBS condemning an episode of the show Postcards From Buster that featured “Buster the Bunny” visiting Vermont and interacting with the children of a lesbian couple, although they are not identified as such in the program. Spellings criticized the use of government funds to produce the episode, saying “many parents would not want their young children exposed to the life-styles portrayed in this episode.”
Three months later, Spellings produced more controversy when she characterized the state of Connecticut’s opposition to No Child Left Behind as the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”
Spellings was also willing to go where no cabinet member has gone before, appearing on Celebrity Jeopardy! She came in second with a score of $11,100, losing to actor Michael McKean, who won $38,800.
PBS’s ‘Buster’ Gets An Education (by Lisa de Moraes, Washington Post)
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