Cobranchi is covering this one, too.
The New York Times reported that an unnamed appropriations bill in the Senate has this nice little amendment that will basically force a turnover of all g-school curricula to federal control.
Here’s the Times article.
When Republican senators quietly tucked a major new student aid program into the 774-page budget bill last month, they not only approved a five-year, $3.75 billion initiative. They also set up what could be an important shift in American education: for the first time the federal government will rate the academic rigor of the nation’s 18,000 high schools.
The measure, backed by the Bush administration and expected to pass the House when it returns next month, would provide $750 to $1,300 grants to low-income college freshmen and sophomores who have completed “a rigorous secondary school program of study” and larger amounts to juniors and seniors majoring in math, science and other critical fields.
It leaves it to the secretary of education to define rigorous, giving her a new foothold in matters of high school curriculums.
Apparently, this draft of the bill does not include private-school students or home-educated kids. Which is an interesting oversight, but one for which I am grateful. But I think the idea of a federally “defined” public-school curriculum is a bad idea with dangerous possibilities, and I’ll be watching this one like a hawk.