Margaret Spellings, a White House adviser and longtime confidante of President George W. Bush, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20 as the new Secretary of Education. She succeeds Roderick Paige, the controversial former Houston superintendent who served in that post throughout the first four years of the Bush administration.

Spellings assumed the cabinet-level post after Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., agreed to waive his objections, which had been holding up her final confirmation. Lautenberg's move came after Spellings agreed to review the promotional tactics--such as paying a conservative pundit $241,000 to praise the No Child


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