Govs. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Bruce E. Babbitt of Arizona are not going to meet their Jan. 1 deadline for creating a national citizens' lobby in education. Mr. Babbitt's press secretary, James West, said the project "is still under consideration, but we have not made as much progress on it as we would have liked." (See Education Week, Oct. 24, 1984.)
In addition, Chester E. Finn Jr., a professor at Vanderbilt University who worked with the Governors to develop the blueprint for the citizens' lobby, has reportedly modified plans for a second project, an "Institute for Better Schools," that he has been developing with the Governors and with Diane Ravitch, an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Sources said that Mr. Finn is now proposing that the research institute, instead of being an independent organization, be affiliated with the Vanderbilt University Institute for Public Policy Studies, where Mr. Finn now works.
In particular, the sources said, Mr. Finn, who is seeking foundation support for the project, is hoping to shape the institute out of an expanded form of the "Educational Excellence Network," a program run by Mr. Finn and Ms. Ravitch that distributes copies of education-related articles and essays to several hundred policymakers and education writers.
According to the sources, the latest plans still call for the institute to be based in Washington and for Mr. Finn and Ms. Ravitch to direct it. Mr. Finn was unavailable for comment last week.--tt