Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos has decided to expand the Education Department's Talent Search Program to include 7th- and 8th-grade students considered at risk of dropping out.
The Secretary's action represents a continuation of his focus on dropout prevention and comes amid reports suggesting that for some students, the decision to drop out may have its roots in the pre-high-school years.
The Talent Search program provides grants to projects at colleges and nonprofit agencies that target at-risk students who have the potential to go on to a postsecondary institution.
The projects provide academic and other forms of counseling through mentoring programs, campus visits, parental-involvement efforts, and exposure to various careers.
Currently, $23.3 million in dropout-prevention funds is being allotted to 177 Talent Search programs serving only high-school students.
The Secretary has decided to pump an additional $2.9 million into the effort, which will enable the department to initiate the new programs. The department hopes to fund 55 awards of $50,000 each by October.
According to the May 5 Federal Register, ed would like to use the new grants to augment existing Talent Search programs.
Regional Approach Urged
To Education, Econony
The most effective federal policies will be those that tie economic development and education together within states, across state lines, and across departmental or agency lines, according to a report by the Education Commission of the States and the Institute for Educational Leadership.
The seven-page document was presented to President Bush last month.
The report is the result of a conference held last September, at which educators, business leaders, and government officials advocated a re4gional approach to education and economic reform.
"National leaders must address regional strengths and weaknesses--and question single-state policymaking when a regional approach could produce greater benefits," the report argues. It calls on Mr. Bush to ''become the convener and chief advocate of collaboration."
The report also suggests that federal funds be used to equalize regional resources.
"While this is an economic, not education, policy matter, the lack of a stable economic foundation in areas where the needs of children and families are great undermines local and state efforts [in education]," the report maintains.
A limited number of copies of "Federalism and Education: The Evolving Federal-State Partnership," are available without charge from Sherry Walker, Education Commission of the States, 1860 Lincoln St., Suite 300, Denver, Colo. 80295.
A booklet that answers the most frequently asked questions about the new Even Start program has been published by the Education Department.
Even Start, which was authorized by last year's Hawkins-Stafford reauthorization law, is intended to promote projects that integrate adult and early-childhood education. The department plans to award 75 grants totaling about $14 million by the end of September.
The booklet gives guidance on eligibility requirements and proposal evaluation. It will be distributed through regional Chapter 1 technical-assistance centers.
Further information is available from Thomas Fagan, Office of Compensatory Education Programs, Education Department, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202; (202) 732-4682.
Vice President Dan Quayle has appointed William Kristol, a former high-ranking official in the Education Department, as his chief of staff.
Mr. Kristol, who served as chief of staff to William J. Bennett when he was the Secretary of Education, became an adviser to Mr. Quayle shortly after he took office.