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Richard W Riley


									Richard W. Riley
       "You can agree with Dick
       Riley or disagree on policy,
       but you can't not like him,
       he’s just a good guy.”
        -William F.Goodling,R-Pa.

         By Buckley and Clay
     Richard Wilson Riley was born in Greenville, S.C., on
Jan. 2, 1933. His father, Edward, was an attorney and
chairman of the state Democratic Party. In 1950, he
graduated from Greenville Senior High School and
received the senior superlative of personality plus. He
participated in student government as a member of the
“president’s cabinet”, oddly foreshadowing his political
career. He graduated cum laude from Furman University
in 1954. Riley served in the U.S. Navy until two years
later when he was diagnosed with rheumatoid spondylitis,
a painful bone disease. He received a law degree from the
University of South Carolina in 1959
     After working in his father’s law firm, he was elected
to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1963.
Four years later he joined the state senate, where he served
until he was elected Governor in 1978, South Carolinians
amended the state constitution in order to elect Riley to a
second term in 1981. In 1992, President Clinton appointed
Dick Riley Secretary of Education, where he served until
the year 2001. He became a Distinguished Professor at
Furman University and serves as Advisory Board Chair of
the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, politics and
Public Leadership. He has also been named Distinguished
Professor at University of South Carolina, and also
Distinguished Senior Fellow at NAFSA: Association of
International Educators.
      Interview with Dick Riley
  The main questions asked in this interview dealt mainly with vital decisions
  R.W Riley had to make near the ending point of his last term as a political
  position holder. Questions were also asked to determine if those decisions
  affected his passion for his job, and his future to come.
CB (Clay and Buckley): When was your interest in
  education first started? Were there certain events in time
  that led up to this interest?
Secretary Riley: “I had wonderful teachers, wonderful
  parents, but I got really interested in public service and
  public policymaking in the South. It became very clear to
  me from our history that South Carolina had had a weak
  history in terms of education. African American children
  were systematically undereducated. We had just a small
  percentage of children who were college bound. It was a
  bad system.
       I realized that I had some authority as a
member of the state government and state
senate for ten years, and then as governor for
ten years, to do something about that. I was
determined then to get heavily involved in
education to try to help all children reach not
just the average, but excellence. I've worked for
that diligently ever since. Many parts of the
South are doing very well. For example,the rural
Delta region, is one that still hadn’t reached the
top level of economic success during my
service. That's one reason why we traveled that
area, to let those people know that education is
the way.”
What happened near the end of your term
in as a political position holder? Did these
  actions affect your plans for the future?
                    Riley: I had reached a commitment
                      with my wife not to even think
                      about that. I had a very
                      important position. Every day
                      was important. If I had gotten
                      off into what Dick Riley was
                      going to do in the end, I would
                      have been preoccupied with
                      that. I was determined not to do
                      that. I promised President
                      Clinton that I would stay there
                      until the end of the term, and I
                      ended up staying absolutely
                      focused until the very last day.
          Another Question?
CB: Did you begin to slow down or lose passion for
 what you were doing near the end of your term?

Riley: The nature of the process was that our
  appropriations bill, labor, education, and health
  was a hard one. It usually came up at the end of
  the year. It was going to be passed one way or
  another in September. Just as it's been since 1995,
  when Republicans had a majority in the House and
  Senate our main weapon was the president's veto.
  We were able then to have some leverage at the
  end of the year because you have to pass a budget.
    I was successful in last year to get
positive things to happen for education in.
That was an election year, so September
was the end of the term. I was very anxious
for this particular September to be an
education month. I hoped that Congress had
realized what was at stake, and they did. At
that time it the future of our country.”
CB: How much progress had you seen in all of your years as
  a politician?
Riley: A lot of the children that we're seen in the Delta region
  were children whose parents did not have an education,
  probably didn't have an opportunity to have an education.
  Certainly their grandparents did not. These are kids who,
  when they come home at night, they don't have a
  computer. Their opportunity to learn this day’s language of
  technology had to come out of the school.
       In the one of schools we visited [Whitten Elementary
  School in Marianna, Arkansas], technology was one of the
  real priorities. Every classroom had at least six computers.
  That's was unheard of in my day. They had a computer lab
  too. They had very good software. Every classroom is
  connected to the Internet. You didn’t see that kind of stuff
  in many schools around the country. That school has
  placed a lot of emphasis on letting these poor children
  work with computers, learn how to use computers, learn
  how to learn with computers.
 •What was your experience like as
  Governor and Secretary of Education?
 “I loved serving as Governor.”
 “[As Secretary of Education] I was asked
  to follow what I did for South Carolina for
  education for the whole nation.”
 •How has the political world influenced
  your view on education?
 “Anything that is important is affected by
 • Approved and signed the Education Improvement Act
   to raise money for school reform in 1984
• By his second term as governor he visited all ninety-
   one South Carolina school districts
• Helped create the Partnership for Family Involvement
   in Education
• Helped win ruling by the FCC to give schools and
   libraries large discounts for internet and
   telecommunication services
• Helped improve the Individuals with Disabilities
   Education Act
•    South Carolina Governors: Richard Wilson Riley.”
     2003. Online Internet. November 4, 2003.
    <:> From this
     source we Found bibliographical information about
     Dick Riley.
•     Biographical facts and accomplishments. “Richard
     W. Riley: U.S. Secretary of Education.” Online
     Internet. November 4, 2003.
     From this source we found information on Riley’s
•    Whitfield, George. “Dick Riley Head of the Education
     Department.” Greenville News. 17,May, 1991. Page
     1, 4b
     From this source we found information about the
     political issues during Dick Riley’s term.
          Partners Dedication
   Both partners worked equally as hard on the
    presentation. This was determined due to
    the fact that we were together, finding and
    putting together information, and finalizing
    the project.

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