News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Scrutiny for Safety Plans Urged
A senior House Democrat has urged the Department of Education to scrutinize the emergency preparedness of schools and colleges in light of the recent terrorist attacks.
"While emergency preparedness is primarily a local and state function, the federal government's role is critical in making certain that schools continue to be one of the safest places children can be, much as we did during the Cold War," Rep. George Miller of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, wrote in a Nov. 12 letter to Secretary of Education Rod Paige.
Mr. Miller requested information on several matters related to school security, including what actions the department has taken to help schools draw up emergency plans in response to possible terrorism, and whether the department is taking any steps to determine if states have adequately addressed measures to help schools prepare such plans.
"It is essential that the Department of Education assist states in times of extreme national crises," said Mr. Miller.
Lindsey Kozberg, a spokeswoman for Secretary Paige, declined to comment on the letter, saying the department was still preparing a reply to Mr. Miller.
—Erik W. Robelen
White House Highlights Profiles in Courage
Adding to a mounting list of post-Sept. 11 initiatives aimed at children, the White House has posted on its children's Web site a timeline of historical events highlighting the courage and strength of Americans.
The timeline, posted at www.whitehouse.gov/kids/timeline , features stories from 1777 to 1948 of incidents and people who made a contribution in the quest for freedom.
Children can read about a Quaker woman from Philadelphia who learned of a sneak attack at Valley Forge in 1777 and warned George Washington's troops. Then click on the year 1831 and read about how Harriet Tubman liberated slaves. Other items in the timeline include the story behind the Statue of Liberty in 1886.
Department of Education officials said the Web site is one of several efforts under way to help children in the aftermath of the September terrorist attacks. The site includes a link to America's Fund for Afghan Children, the initiative in which President Bush is encouraging dollar donations from the nation's children to help their counterparts in Afghanistan.
Vol. 21, Issue 13, Page 23