Education

Idea of Citizen’s Lobby Is Weighed by Governors

By Thomas Toch — September 05, 1984 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Two governors, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Bruce E. Babbitt of Arizona, are exploring the possibility of founding a national citizens’ lobby that would work “to keep education reform on the front burner,” according to their spokesmen.

“They have met several times to discuss the creation of an organization [to provide national leadership in education] and they want to get it off the ground this fall,” said James West, an aide to Governor Babbitt.

Mr. Babbitt, a Democrat, and Mr. Alexander, a Republican, have included a small number of educators in the planning of the proposed organization, Mr. West said. These include Chester E. Finn Jr., a professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt University who worked closely with Governor Alexander on the development of Tennessee’s highly publicized education-reform plan.

“The idea is to build and hold national public support for quality education,” said Bill Honig, superintendent of public instruction in California. “The question is, ‘How do you get the citizenry involved in an organized way to push for reform?’ They would be trying to get a large group of members signed up and lobbying state legislators and school-board members [nationwide]. It would be a coalition of concerned citizens, a force for quality education.”

Mr. Honig, who said he has been asked by Mr. Finn to offer his comments on the Governors’ proposal, added that a research component is included in the Governors’ plans in order to ''sustain the intellectual development” of the reform movement.

The new chairman of the Education Commission of the States, Gov. Charles S. Robb of Virginia, also recently voiced his intention to make changes in the leadership and structure of that organization in an effort to increase its ability to shape national education policy.

According to Robert C. Andringa, the outgoing director of the 19-year-old organization, the ecs’s present mission is to provide staff support for governors and other policymakers in the states.

Mr. Honig said the commission “is a good forum for exchanging ideas and sharing information, but it hasn’t been action-oriented.”

“Because it has to reflect the concerns of 50 states,” he said, “it is very difficult to form a consensus. It’s another thing if you have 2 million people [in a membership organization] behind an agenda of seven or eight issues.”

The two governors and others familiar with the proposed organization declined to offer details about it.

A version of this article appeared in the September 05, 1984 edition of Education Week as Idea of Citizen’s Lobby Is Weighed by Governors

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Webinar
Stronger Together: Integrating Social and Emotional Supports in an Equity-Based MTSS
Decades of research have shown that when schools implement evidence-based social and emotional supports and programming, academic achievement increases. The impact of these supports – particularly for students of color, students from low-income communities, English
Content provided by Illuminate Education
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read