Federal News Roundup
Secretary of Education William J. Bennett last week called on colleges and universities to establish methods to assess their own performance and to evaluate student achievement in virtually all disciplines.
Mr. Bennett, who has advocated increased accountability in higher education since assuming office in February, suggested that such tests would also help institutions sharpen their goals. The current emphasis on testing in elementary and secondary education, which Mr. Bennett has also supported, has these same objectives.
The Secretary's statement came in a Dec. 2 speech in New Orleans to the Southern Association of Coland Universities.
Responding to concerns that widespread testing would harm education by leading instructors to "teach to the test," Mr. Bennett said, "The institution must set goals, it must articulate a vision, it must delineate standards. And then it is quite all right to teach to those goals and standards. When a college or university does that, it does nothing shameful."
James C. Miller 3rd, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said last week that he would prepare a fiscal 1987 budget for the federal government with a deficit of no more than $144 billion--about $60 billion less than the current total.
That figure equals the deficit tar-get required by the controversial budget-balancing legislation, the8Gramm-Rudman-Hollings amend, now pending in the Congress.
Administration budget analysts and education lobbyists said it is unclear whether, or how much, elementary- and secondary-education budgets would be cut to meet this deficit goal.
The Education Department has reportedly drafted a $16.6-billion budget for the 1987 fiscal year--which begins next Oct. 1--without significant cuts in precollegiate-aid programs. The Congress is likely to approve an $18.4-billion budget for the department this year.
At a meeting sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy and research group, Mr. Miller said he expected the 1987 budget to come in "at a $144-billion deficit maximum, whether we have Gramm-Rudman-Hollings or not."
The omb is now reviewing agencies' 1987 budget submissions before sending the entire federal spending plan to the President for final approval early next year.