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Spring Trip

Before Rod Paige became the secretary of education, it might have seemed a bit odd to have football players stumping for education reform.

But with a former college football coach now the nation's top education leader, that's all changed.

Last week, Atlanta Falcons fullback Bob Christian joined Mr. Paige to help talk up the "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001 at an event in Georgia. Two days later, Mr. Paige was flanked by Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green at an event outside the Department of Education's headquarters in downtown Washington.

"If we're going to create a school system that educates 100 percent of our children, it will take a team ... working together to get it done," Mr. Paige said.

These events were part of a 25-city "No Child Left Behind" Tour Across America Mr. Paige is taking this spring and summer. The April 8 kickoff was in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Department of Education's new look.
--James W. Prichard/Education Week

At the Washington event, the agency unfurled new "No Child Left Behind" banners now draped along the side of the headquarters building. The agency has also added another cosmetic touch. With improvements to the building's facade under way, the department has converted protective structures at entrances into little red schoolhouses, complete with chimneys, white picket fences, and the agency mantra emblazoned on them.

Aside from the obvious protection the faux schools provide from falling construction debris, an agency press release declared that the structures "remind employees and passersby of the most significant education reforms ever and the important work the department carries out on behalf of America's children."

—Erik W. Robelen

Vol. 21, Issue 31, Page 25

Published in Print: April 17, 2002, as Federal File

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