You want to travel the world in style, and not pay a dime for it? All you have to do is be appointed U.S. secretary of education—which, at the moment, is next to impossible, seeing as Margaret Spellings holds that post. Since landing the gig 18 months ago, she’s traveled abroad seven times, which is more than Rod Paige did during his four years as secretary. Among other countries, the Spellings World Tour has stopped in Egypt, Italy, Japan, and Afghanistan, and it’ll touch down in Greece and Spain this month. The ed department has shelled out close to $37,000 thus far for Spellings’ travel, which, according to one critic, amounts to “expensive public relations events to make the [agency] look good.” But supporters argue that a globally competitive world necessitates healthy international relations. Christopher Cross, who served as an assistant ed secretary under George Bush Sr., says of Spellings, “If she were sitting in her office and not doing any of these things, I would be even more concerned.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.