New Presidential Commission To Seek Out, Publicize Successful Programs, Says Bell
Washington--The question of how effective the nation's schools and colleges are--a topic currently debated among education researchers--will also be looked into over the next year and a half by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
The 18-member National Commission on Excellence in Education, chaired by David P. Gardner, president of the University of Utah, will recommend ways to improve the achievement of American students. But, predicted Education Secretary Terrel H. Bell last month in announcing establishment of the commission, the group's recommendations will include neither increased federal spending nor the development of national standards of educational achievement.
"How much money will be spent on improving education is up to the states and local school systems" he said. "The 10th Amendment delegated responsibility for education to the states."
Mr. Bell also said that the excellence commission's conclusions definitely will not involve "federal regulations that require competency exams."
Instead, the Secretary said, the panel will identify and publicize successful teaching methods in an attempt to "persuade state education agencies, local school boards, and superintendents to adopt...standards."
Mr. Bell predicted that when the the National Commission on Excellence in Education reports its findings in 18 months, the Department of Education will already be disbanded. "But there'll be some successor," he said.
Besides Mr. Gardner--with whom the Secretary, a former chancellor of higher education in Utah, is well acquainted--the commission includes an inner-city principal and the president of a rural community college; the principal of a Protestant high school and the president of a Catholic college; the 1981 National Teacher of the Year and the president of the National School Boards Association. Among the 18 members appointed thus far (one position remains open) are five women, two blacks, and one Hispanic.
Three members also serve on the panel appointed last spring by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to study the American high school. And members include spokesmen for science and foreign-language education, two curriculum areas that Mr. Bell said are often neglected when "high schools offer a curriculum with a large number of electives."
Commission members are:
Yvonne W. Larsen (Vice President), president of the San Diego school board;
William O. Baker, retired chairman of Bell Telephone Laboratories in Morristown, N.J.;
Anne Campbell, commissioner of education in Nebraska;
Emeral A. Crosby, principal of Northern High School in Detroit;
Charles A. Foster, Jr., president of the Foundation for Teaching of Economics in San Francisco;
Norman C. Francis, president of Xavier University in New Orleans;
A. Bartlett Giamatti, president of Yale University;
Shirley Gordon, president of Highline Community College in Midway, Wash.;
Robert V. Haderlein, president of the National School Boards Association;
Gerald Holton, professor of physics and the history of science at Harvard University;
Annette Y. Kirk, a former school teacher from Mecosta, Mich.;
Margaret S. Marston, a member of the Virginia State Board of Education;
Albert H. Quie, governor of Minnesota;
Francisco D. Sanchez, Jr., superintendent in Albuquerque, N.M.
Glenn T. Seaborg, professor of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley and a 1951 Nobel Laureate;
Jay Sommer, a foreign language teacher in New Rochelle, N.Y., and 1981 National Teacher of the Year.; and
Richard Wallace, principal of Lutheran High School East in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.--E.W.
Vol. 01, Issue 01, Page 8