News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Ford Calls for Education Session
Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. wants Congress to allot the first two weeks of its session next year exclusively to debating education legislation.
Mr. Ford, a Tennessee Democrat who was a freshman member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee in the 105th Congress, plans to send his appeal in a letter to House Speaker-designate Robert L. Livingston, R-La., this week. He solicited signatures from Democratic colleagues last week as the House prepared to vote on articles of impeachment for President Clinton.
"Calling the whole House back to Washington simply to vote on articles of impeachment, while the fundamental needs of American citizens continue to be unmet, is a misappropriation of priorities," Mr. Ford wrote. "Putting education at the top of the agenda would set the tone for a productive, issue-based congressional session."
Mr. Ford wrote that he'd like to have a "thoughtful debate" on issues such as school construction, charter schools, vouchers, standards, and accountability.
--Joetta L. Sack
Riley Announces 'Stanford' Awards
Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley bestowed the first of what will be annual "John Stanford Education Heroes" awards on a group of school officials, parents, and community activists last week.
Mr. Riley honored 10 individuals, from 10 different regions of the country, for improving education through their "exceptional activities."
The awards go to people who have engaged students in learning, increased parental involvement, and helped carry the message for better education to the community at large, according to the Department of Education.
The award was named after John H. Stanford, the Seattle superintendent of schools and retired U.S. Army general, who died Nov. 28 of leukemia. ("Seattle Chief Leaves Legacy of Achievement," Dec. 9, 1998.)
The awardees are as follows: Patty Arthur, a parent from Spokane, Wash.; Stephen B. DeMasco, the founder of the Kids for Life Foundation from New Haven/Branford, Conn.; Eugene Eubanks, a University of Missouri professor from Kansas City, Mo.; Kathleen Gaffney, the founder of Artsgenesis from Jersey City, N.J.; Jacqueline Greenwood, a high school principal from Indianapolis; Don Johnson, an elementary school principal from Springdale, Ark.; Veronica Joyner, the founder of Parents United for Better Schools from Philadelphia; H. Roy Kaplan, a regional director of the National Conference of Communities and Justice, of Tampa, Fla.; John McConnell, the founder of the Exploratorium, of Grand Junction, Colo.; and Alice Waters, the creator of "The Edible Schoolyard," of Berkeley, Calif.
--Joetta L. Sack
Gore Unveils Vietnam Studies Project
Educators, veterans, and historians are collaborating on the Young Americans Vietnam War Era Studies Project, Vice President Al Gore announced recently.
Once completed, the multimedia program will be distributed to 17,000 public and private high schools nationwide, according to Mr. Gore's office.
It will focus on the historical, social, and political aspects of American involvement in the Vietnam conflict from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s.
The vice president's veterans' education initiative also includes the "Virtual Wall," a World Wide Web site financed by the nonprofit Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and Winstar Communications Inc.
Vol. 18, Issue 16, Page 26