Education

Spellings: Nats Fan, Not Ticketholder

April 02, 2008 1 min read

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings disappointed policy wonks by not answering my queries about the details of her plans for a uniform graduation rate. No one e-mailed asking if I might have any nuggets on the grad-rate issue in my notebook that I didn’t share on the blog. I don’t.

But one e-mailer took me to task for failing to answer a question on a more important topic: Is the education secretary a potential source for sweet seats behind a dugout at Nationals Park?

Sadly, the answer is no. After Spellings deflected my grad-rate questions, I asked her if she enjoyed the game. She told me she and her husband went to the game as guests of Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and his wife, who are season ticket holders.

Baseball and policy aside, the experience is another example of Spellings’ semi-celebrity status—something that’s rare among lower-level Cabinet secretaries. When the Reliable Source writers scanned the crowd, they recognized Spellings, but not Bodman, who was sitting with her. (Honestly, how many of these people would you know if you saw them in a crowd of 40,000? At my church earlier this year, a couple introduced themselves as visitors from Fargo, N.D. I recognized the man as a former governor of North Dakota. I had no idea he had moved to Washington until I read about his confirmation as secretary of agriculture later that week.)

But people in Washington know Spellings. Part of it is her appearances on “Jeopardy!,” Jon Stewart’s show, and “Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me.” Another part is her friendship and professional partnership with President Bush and his family.

She is a unique blend of bold-faced name and policy wonk. That’s a good combination when you’re trying to get OMB to approve rules about arcane subjects such as high school graduation rates.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.

Events

School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Branding your district matters. This webinar will provide you with practical tips and strategies to elevate your brand from three veteran professionals, each of whom has been directly responsible for building their own district’s brand.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. school districts are using hybrid learning right now with varying degrees of success. Students and teachers are getting restless and frustrated with online learning, making curriculum engagement difficult and disjointed. While
Content provided by Samsung

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago
Communications Officer
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hamilton County Department of Education
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read