'New Democrat' ESEA
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., and other self-styled New
Democrats released a legislative blueprint last week that would scale
back the number of federal education programs while raising overall
spending for them.
"We are here today as New Democrats to say there is a better way, a third way, that synthesizes the best ideas" of Democrats and Republicans, Mr. Lieberman said at a Nov. 16 press conference.
The plan, modeled on a policy paper issued earlier this year by the Progressive Policy Institute, would provide states and districts increased flexibility, demand stricter accountability for results, and target most federal education funding to low-income students.
Programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would be consolidated into five titles focused on the following goals: closing the achievement gap between rich and poor students; helping immigrant children master English; improving teacher quality; promoting public school choice; and stimulating innovative practices.
Sen. Lieberman, the chairman of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council, is working with five Senate and three House Democrats on the plan, which will be formally introduced in January. The Progressive Policy Institute is the think tank of the DLC.
More U.S. students than ever will enter college over the next decade, according to a report from the Department of Education.
Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley unveiled the report in Detroit last week in kicking off National College Week, which ran Nov. 15-19. Enrollment at institutions of higher education is expected to jump 14 percent between 1999 and 2009, from 12.8 million to 14.3 million students, the "Getting There" report states.
National College Week is an effort by the department and 300 colleges and universities to publicize the importance of a college education, and academic preparation and financial planning.
--Erik W. Robelen & Julie Blair
Vol. 19, Issue 13, Page 22