Margaret Spellings

US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings was Friday's guest. Here are excerpts from her remarks:

On her revised approach to "No Child Left Behind" legislation:

"I am willing to consider more flexible approaches on things that are not in the bright lines of the statute. Exhibit A in that regard is some flexibility with respect to assessment of special ed students, which is based in our newest and best research."

On security in schools in the wake of the recent shooting rampage at Red Lake, Minn.:

"It is something we need to pay more attention to at the department and around the country.... That's a lot harder problem to solve than buying more metal detectors or [hiring] more security guards."

On having recently gone through the college application process with her own daughter:

"It is a confusing process. I am the doggone secretary of education, and I am fumbling around at Barnes & Noble trying to find the book to figure out [the process].... It is not a very sophisticated way to make one of the most important and most expensive decisions you are going to make."

On the difference between being a White House adviser and becoming a cabinet secretary:

"The White House is a 24/7, around-the-clock machine. The Department of Education is less like that. The White House [is] ... this close-knit family. I was in that little family ... and now I am over here. I moved away from my parents and now I've got my own house."

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