Federal File: Research Blues; New Job; Kudos

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The Education Department's researchers are less-than-happy campers, a survey of employees in the department's office of research has found.

Only a third of the respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the agency as a working environment, the survey found. Moreover, on 67 specific items, a majority of those polled rated the conditions negatively.

The staffers also expressed negative opinions about the office's research agenda; more than half said it lacks "a long- range research agenda which effectively addresses national education needs and is current with the state of knowledge."

On the positive side, however, majorities of the respondents said their work is "intellectually stimulating" and enables them to "do something of potential national importance."

Peter P. Smith, a former member of the House Education and Labor Committee, has accepted the pest of dean of education at George Washington University.

The Vermont Republican, who was defeated for re-election by Bernard Sanders last fall, made an unusually significant mark during his one term with an education-deregulation plan.

Mr. Smith's proposal, which was included in an omnibus education bill that later died in the Senate, would have freed school districts from certain federal regulations in exchange for performance agreements.

Mr. Smith holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University, rounded the Community College of Vermont, and served briefly as a university vice president.

The Committee for Education Funding will bestow this year's awards for Congressional champions of education on Representative William D. Ford, Senator Timothy E. Wirth, and former Representative John Brademas.

Mr. Ford, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, was the chief sponsor this year of a "homefront initiative" that sought increases in education spending.

Mr. Wirth, a Colorado Democrat, fought on the Senate Budget Committee to include those increases in the budget, and is planning to sponsor a floor amendment this month to increase education appropriations.

Mr. Brademas, an Indiana Democrat who served 22 years in the House, authored legislation creating the National Institute of Education and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act.

The awards will be presented at the C.E.F.'s annual dinner Sept. 23. --R.R. & J.M.

Vol. 11, Issue 02, Page 1

Published in Print: September 11, 1991, as Federal File: Research Blues; New Job; Kudos
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