Education

News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

September 21, 2004 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

House Panel Approves Vocational Ed. Measure

A bill to reauthorize the main federal vocational education law moved forward in the House last week, while proponents in the Senate say their measure has bipartisan support.

The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Michael N. Castle, a Delaware Republican, was approved by a voice vote on July 21 by the House Education and the Workforce Committee. The Senate proposal to reauthorize the 1998 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act was introduced a day earlier by Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.

Both measures would increase requirements on states and local K-12 programs to form stronger links between academic programs and industries. But while the House bill would merge the two separate sources of federal vocational funding, known as state grants and Tech Prep, the Senate bill would keep the two programs separate.

The Senate bill also would replace all references to the term “vocational education,” which some educators consider antiquated, in the Perkins law and would replace it with “career and technical education.”

The Education Trust, a Washington policy organization, said the two proposals would offer only weak incentives to state and local recipients of federal funding to improve vocational programs, and would allow states to use unreliable data in evaluating them.

“A bad reauthorization is worse than no reauthorization at all,” the organization said in a statement.

—Sean Cavanagh

State-by-State Comparison On U.S. History Proposed

A Senate proposal that was introduced last week would include a state-by-state comparison study of results on the national assessment in U.S. history that is scheduled for 2006.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., propose spending $5 million to pilot the study in 10 states as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is given to national samples of students in core subjects.

The lawmakers pointed to indicators that American schoolchildren are not learning enough about history and government. On the 2001 history NAEP, three-fourths of 4th graders could not identify the three branches of government, for example.

State testing in U.S. history is not required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, an omission many social studies educators say has led to a reduced focus on history and other subjects.

—Kathleen Kennedy Manzo

Groups Call for Action On Reauthorization of IDEA

Several education groups, fearing that time is running short to complete a rewrite of the nation’s main special education law this year, are urging Senate leaders to quickly move the process forward.

“The superintendents, boards of education, and principals of the nation’s public schools will be sorely disappointed if the 108th Congress fails to complete its work on this important legislation prior to final adjournment,” the groups wrote in a July 19 letter to the Senate’s majority and minority leaders. The letter was signed by the American Association of School Administrators, the National School Boards Association, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the national associations for elementary and secondary school principals.

Both the House and Senate have passed bills to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but the Senate has yet to name members to a conference committee that would reconcile differences between the competing versions. (“Rewrite of Special Education Law Stalls in Congress,” July 14, 2004.)

—Erik W. Robelen

Improved Economics Study Is Aim of Ed. Dept. Grant

The Department of Education awarded the New York City-based National Council on Economic Education a $1.5 million grant last week to help increase economic and financial literacy in schools nationwide.

The grant is the first under the federal Excellence in Economic Education Act.

The NCEE will distribute the money, which must be leveraged with matching funds, to state and local groups that will train teachers in economic education, provide academic resources to school districts, and conduct field research on best practices in fiscal and economic education.

—Rhea R. Borja

A version of this article appeared in the July 28, 2004 edition of Education Week as News in Brief: A Washington Roundup


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

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 Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP