Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Making Education Policy in Washington

Former education secretary and presidential candidate Lamar Alexander shows little regard for consistency or accuracy in his opinion essay, "Where Bold Education Reform Is Found" (Oct. 17).

While he derides the increased funding President Clinton has obtained for improving education, Mr. Alexander fails to mention that when he served as secretary of education, he - apparently reluctantly - urged Congress to increase federal spending on education. He is dismissive of President Clinton's proposal for voluntary national tests in the fourth grade for reading and in the eighth grade for mathematics, yet fails to tell readers that as secretary of education he proposed not two, but 15 national tests - in mathematics, science, English, history, and geography, for grades 4, 8, and 12. "The {department's} meetings raise questions relating to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which governs how a federal department can regularly seek advice from outside parties," the article says. But the author should know that FACA applies only to a group that has, in large measure, an organized structure, a fixed membership, and a purpose of specifically advising government officials. Contrary to what the author says, the Department of Education's research efforts are unstructured, informal, and are not designed to obtain advice on specific issues of government policy. They are informational forums to provide updates on departmental initiatives, disseminate information about educational programs, and exchange comments on matters of public concern. To date, more than 230 people, representing a rich diversity of viewpoints, have expressed interest in these open forums. No one has ever been turned away. Finally, the article conveniently ignores the strong support the Clinton administration has provided for expanding public school choice and charter schools. But, unlike Mr. Alexander, we oppose siphoning off public tax dollars for private school vouchers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.