In one of the few domestic-policy priorities not eclipsed by the Sept. 11 attacks, US congressional negotiators expected to wrap up work today on the most sweeping educational reform bill since the 1960s. The bipartisan effort, which addresses accountability for failing schools, student testing programs, bilingual education, literacy initiatives, and new programs to improve teacher quality, was one of President Bush's top priorities for his first year in office.
The House-Senate negotiators said late last week that they hope to finish their work on the "No Child Left Behind Act" in a meeting today, clearing the way for the full House and Senate to approve the legislation before the new year. The bill is the most extensive update and reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act since its passage in 1965, and it reflects many months of hard-fought compromises between Democrats and Republicans.
Last weekend, 32 students from US colleges received the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. They were chosen from 925 applicants endorsed by 319 colleges and universities. Harvard University led with five recipients. However, a recent analysis by The Chronicle of Higher Education found that the percentage of Rhodes Scholarships going to Ivy Leaguers has dropped. From 1947 to 1996, students from the eight Ivy League schools won 36 percent of the scholarships, but since 1997, they've won just 21 percent. The scholarships, started in 1902, provide two or three years of study at Oxford University in England.
A new private university for women in Asia, which would be accessible to the poor, is the brainchild of an international group of leaders in education and development, reports The New York Times. The proposed university would start off with the size and curriculum of a small liberal-arts college. Co-chairs of the group are Lone Dybkjaer, a member of the European Parliament, and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh.