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Statement from Margaret Spellings on the 2015 Grad Nation Report
As the 2015 Building a Grad Nation Report indicates, our country is making good progress on boosting high school graduation rates. As Secretary of Education, I was proud to bring truth-in-advertising to how we count graduates. Good data, accountability for every student, and high standards and expectations also have been central to this progress.
Our work is not done, though. Serious gaps between minority, low-income and special education students and their peers remain. The nation still must ensure that every student, including those from minority and disadvantaged families, can be -- and are -- educated to the highest levels.
Margaret Spellings was president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center from 2013 through 2016. Her work at the Bush Center includes the 2014 launch of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a one-of-a-kind leadership program born out of the first-ever partnership of multiple Presidential Centers.
Previously Spellings was president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm that provided strategic guidance to philanthropic and private sector organizations. She also served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Prior to that, Spellings served in a variety of positions in the Bush Administration.
She served as U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005 to 2009. In that role, she oversaw an agency with a nearly $70 billion budget and more than 10,000 employees and contractors. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, she led the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a historic national initiative to provide enhanced accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students.
In 2005, Spellings launched a higher education national policy debate and action plan to improve accessibility, affordability and accountability in our Nation’s colleges and universities. Spellings initiated international outreach and collaboration by leading delegations on behalf of the President of the United States as well as overseeing the development and implementation of international education agreements with such countries as China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
As White House Domestic Policy Advisor, from 2001 to 2005, she managed the development of the President’s domestic policy agenda. Her achievements include oversight of the development of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the development of a comprehensive immigration plan to ensure long-term economic stability and to secure U.S. borders, and numerous other initiatives on health and human services, transportation, labor, justice and housing.
Prior to her service in the White House, Spellings was senior advisor to then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas, led governmental and external relations for the Texas Association of School Boards, and has served in key positions at Austin Community College and with the Texas Legislature.
She graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor's degree in political science.Full Bio