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Group Seeks College-School Dialogue

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Washington--The Council for American Private Education has called for the establishment of a commission to "monitor and advise" the Congress and the secretary of education on issues that mutually affect collegiate and precollegiate education, according to Robert L. Smith, cape's executive director.

Such a commission is necessary "because all education is interrelated and because there is presently a critical absence of articulation between postsecondary and secondary education," Mr. Smith wrote in a letter to the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.


The committee had asked concerned groups to submit recommendations concerning the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Congressional hearings on the reauthorization, which will rewrite the law concerning aid to postsecondary students and institutions, will be held later this year.

"It is clear from 'A Nation at Risk' and other studies that the problems and condition of education cannot be effectively addressed piecemeal," Mr. Smith said in the letter. "Schools and colleges need each other. Their health is mutually dependent. There should be national recognition of this fact and visible means put in place to address their mutual interests."

While acknowledging that a "small group of major college presidents has been active in this area," Mr. Smith argued that the importance of the task requires a "federally sponsored strategy."

He suggested that Congress request that an ongoing commission be established composed of five members of the college and university community, five from elementary and secondary education, and two from the general public.

The commission should include two representatives each from private and independent precollegiate and collegiate institutions, Mr. Smith said.--br

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