In Washington, most lobbyists struggle to get the chairman of a congressional committee on the phone at any time of day.
But a California activist had no trouble finding Rep. Bill Goodling, R-Pa., two weeks ago.
That was because the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee happened to be fast asleep at 3 a.m. on Oct. 22 in his Capitol Hill office--his quarters in Washington--when the activist called.
Mr. Goodling answered the phone to find a whole-language advocate complaining that the literacy bill his panel was going to consider at 10:30 that morning favored phonics instruction.
The chairman assured the caller that the bill--HR 2614--simply said school districts receiving a portion of the $260 million in literacy funding would be required to choose from a range of proven successful teaching methods. Phonics instruction was one of them. Then, the groggy chairman went back to sleep.
But at the 10:30 meeting where his committee approved the measure, Mr. Goodling asked his California colleagues to remind their constituents of the three-hour time difference between the West and East coasts.
Two congressional aides who worked extensively on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act reauthorization and other education matters have left Capitol Hill, but not Washington.
C. Todd Jones, a staff member for the Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is leaving to become the president this month of the newly formed National Education Knowledge Industry Association in Washington. The group, which plans to promote awareness and investment in educational research, is a successor to the well-known Council for Educational Development and Research, or CEDaR, an umbrella group that had served the Department of Education's research labs and centers since the 1960s.
Robert Silverstein, a 10-year veteran aide to Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who also served as the Democratic staff director on the now-disbanded Disability Policy Subcommittee, will become director of the Center for Study and Advancement of Disability Policy at George Washington University this week. He will also serve as an associate professor, teaching disability policy at the university's medical and public health schools.
--DAVID J. HOFF & JOETTA L. SACK