Monday, September 19, 2005

It's All About Access, Baby!

In a continuation of a tried-and-true Washington tradition, Rod Paige, (bio here) the controversial former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, has decided to go into business for himself:
Rod Paige and his former Education Department colleagues have organized a consulting group to offer high-dollar advice on policies they helped create and later enforced.

That includes the controversial No Child Left Behind Act.

Paige resigned as education secretary 10 months ago. He has now agreed to be chairman of New York-based Chartwell Education Group.

The firm is seeking clients ranging from state school chiefs to foreign leaders.

It is not unusual for Washington officials to become consultants after leaving government. But this venture involves virtually an entire leadership team from President Bush's first term.

It includes Susan Sclafani, who, like Paige, came to Washington from the Houston Independent School District. She was Paige's chief federal adviser on matters of vocational and adult education.

John Danielson is Paige's former chief of staff and the new company's chief executive officer. Danielson says he's confident that we're heading into a field where there's a void.
USA Today has much more.

Paige may no longer be the Secretary of Education, but you can bet that his rolodex is up to date.

What this is all about is access. Access to decision-makers and others that can affect policy and the enforcement thereof.

Many of the folks that hire Paige & Company will do so knowing that the ex-secretary will be able to easily pick-up his Motorola and get just about anyone in the Department of Ed on the other end in just a matter of minutes.

It would be my guess that he also has President Bush's private number as well.

If your school system is in some sort of trouble, (Or you simply want to prevent trouble.) a few well-placed phone calls can make all the difference.

View this week's Carnival of Education, guest hosted by Ms. Frizzle, right here. Next week's midway will open here at 'The Wonks next Wednesday. Submissions are due by 9:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, September 20th. Send them to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net.

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