News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

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Longanecker Leaving Department

David A. Longanecker, the assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the Department of Education, will soon be turning in his office keys.

Mr. Longanecker, the department's senior ranking higher education official since 1993, has been named the executive director of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. His last day in his current job has yet to be determined, but he will begin his new job July 1.

The assistant secretary's accomplishments include developing the department's direct-lending aid programs for postsecondary students and crafting a $40 billion education and tax package that included the federal tuition tax credit known as the HOPE Scholarship. Before his federal appointment, Mr. Longanecker was the executive director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education from 1988 to 1993.

--Julie Blair

Riley Announces Educational Software Panel

A new federal commission will assess secondary and postsecondary educational software, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley announced last week.

Congress authorized the establishment of the 14-member Web-Based Education Commission in passing the Higher Education Act amendments of 1998. The plan, which was the brainchild of Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., will hold hearings and issue a report to the president and Congress within six months of the day of its first meeting. The commission will go out of business 90 days after submitting its report. It was unclear last week when the panelists would hold their first meeting.

Sue Kamp, the director of the education market division of the Software and Information Industry Association, said her organization supports the commission, but hopes it will offer general guidelines rather than ranking or promoting certain software products.

In his fiscal 2000 budget proposal, President Clinton has asked for $30 million to better the educational quality of online materials through creation of a digital library for education.

--Mary Ann Zehr

Vol. 18, Issue 22, Page 18

Published in Print: February 10, 1999, as News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
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