Education A Washington Roundup

Spellings: PR Efforts Were Misguided

By Michelle R. Davis — February 08, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings says the Department of Education committed “errors of judgment” by participating in a public relations contract that paid the commentator Armstrong Williams to promote the No Child Left Behind Act.

The admission came last week in a letter Ms. Spellings sent to Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee that deals with education. Before Ms. Spellings took over as secretary last month, the department had defended the agreement, saying it was legal. (“Department’s PR Activities Scrutinized,” Jan. 19, 2005.)

In her Jan. 28 letter, Ms. Spellings said the department had directed Ketchum Inc., a New York City-based public relations firm, to stop all work under its $1 million contract with the department. Ketchum had subcontracted with Mr. Armstrong, paying him some $240,000 for advertising on his syndicated television show and to promote the education law. Ms. Spellings said the department’s review of the matter was a “top priority.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 09, 2005 edition of Education Week


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week