President Bush plans to nominate University Prof. Susan Neuman for assistant secretary of education for elementary and secondary education the nation”s top post for K-12 education.

Paul Wong
Prof. Susan Neuman hopes to move from her office at the School of Education to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington. President Bush plans to nominate Neuman to work under Education Secretary Rod Paige.<br><br>ABBY ROSENBAUM/Daily

“It”s thrilling,” said Neuman, who currently serves as director of the University”s Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.

When asked about her objectives for the role, Neuman laughed as she said, “I hope to leave no child behind” the oft-repeated mantra of the Bush education plan.

“I really mean it!” she exclaimed. “I want to do just something to assure that all children have a better opportunity for education.”

The White House announced Wednesday that Bush intends to nominate Neuman, an early childhood and early literacy specialist.

“Susan Neuman will be an important addition to a team that will be working to implement President Bush”s bold education reform plan,” Education Secretary Rod Paige said in a written statement. “He has given the Department of Education a prominent role in his administration and an important charge for our public elementary and secondary schools.”

Neuman said she is excited to work with Paige, who served as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District during Bush”s tenure as Texas governor.

“He strikes me as a wonderful, ethical, really committed leader,” she said, adding that she is eager to see “if he can translate what he”s done in Houston for the nation.”

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said he expects Neuman to easily be confirmed by the Senate.

“She is someone who has been a leader in secondary and elementary education,” Stanzel said.

“The president has great faith in her abilities and looks forward to having her in the administration,” he said. “He will count on her to work with Secretary Paige to see his vision worked out.”

During his campaign and in his administration, Bush has maintained that education is his top priority.

Before joining the University of Michigan School of Education, Neuman taught at Temple University, Boston College, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and Yale University. She is a graduate of American University and holds a master”s degree from California State University and a doctorate from the University of the Pacific.

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