The Government Accountability Office has agreed to investigate millions of dollars in grants the Department of Education gave to organizations with close ties to department officials, said Tom Kiley, a spokesman for Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., who requested the examination.
In January, the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, will look at grants that went to the Arkansas education department for an online learning project with K12 Inc., a company founded by former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett. Education Week reported in July that the grant was awarded despite being ranked by peer reviewers below at least one other grant. (“Federal Grant Involving Bennett’s K12 Inc. Questioned,” July 28, 2004.)
The GAO study will also look at a $40 million grant to the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, a project of the Education Leaders Council, whose founding members include Deputy Secretary of Education Eugene W. Hickok.
A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 2004 edition of Education Week