Summary: S.64 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (06/12/1991)

Education Council Act of 1991 - Title I: National Education Commission on Time and Learning - National Education Commission on Time and Learning Act - Establishes a National Education Commission on Time and Learning (the Commission).

Requires the Commission to study the quality and adequacy of the study and learning time of U.S. elementary and secondary school students, including issues regarding: (1) the length of the school day and year; (2) the extent and role of homework; (3) how time is being used for academic subjects; (4) year-round professional opportunities for teachers; and (5) the use of school facilities for extended learning programs.

Directs the Commission, within two years after it concludes its first meeting, to submit a final report to the Congress and the Secretary. Requires such report to include analysis and recommendations about the five study topics cited above as well as: (1) use of incentives for students to increase educational achievement in available instruction time; (2) how children spend time outside school, especially the effect on intellectual development; (3) the appropriate number of hours per day and days per year of instruction for U.S. public elementary and secondary schools (with comparisons of the current U.S. situation with that of other nations); (4) if appropriate, a model plan for adopting a longer academic day and year for U.S. public elementary and secondary schools by the end of this decade; (5) suggestions for changes in laws and regulations required to adopt longer school days and years; and (6) analysis and estimate of additional costs, including increased teacher compensation, to States and local school districts if longer school days and years are adopted.

Provides for the Commission to have nine members, groups of three appointed, respectively, by the Secretary of Education and by specified leaders of the House and of the Senate. Requires that the members be appointed from representatives of various groups, including the Nation's Governors.

Terminates the Commission 90 days after it submits its final report.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through 1993.

Title II: National Writing Project - Authorizes the Secretary of Education (the Secretary) to make a grant to the National Writing Project (a nonprofit educational organization) to support the cost of programs of teacher training and classroom research to improve the teaching of writing and the quality of student writing and learning. Directs the Project to establish a National Advisory Board. Authorizes the Project to reserve a specified portion of such funds to make competitive grants to elementary and secondary school teachers. Directs the Secretary to reserve certain funds for independent evaluation of such programs.

Directs the Secretary, through the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, to make grants to individuals and higher education institutions for research on the teaching of writing, reserving a certain portion for junior researchers.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through 1993.

Title III: Miscellaneous - Part A: Civic Education Programs - Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to direct the Secretary of Education (the Secretary) to carry out a program, entitled "We the People...the Citizen and the Constitution," to educate students about the history and principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and to foster civic competence and civic responsibility, by continuing and expanding the educational activities of the National Bicentennial Competition of the Constitution and Bill of Rights administered by the Center for Civic Education. Authorizes the Secretary to contract with such Center to carry out such program.

Sets forth program contents, including a course of instruction in basic principles of U.S. constitutional democracy and history of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Requires the program also to simulate congressional hearings: (1) in the school and community, upon school request, following such course of study; and (2) as an annual competition at congressional district, State, and national levels for secondary students who wish to participate.

Requires the education program to be made available to public and private elementary schools. Allows surplus funds to be used for advanced training of teachers about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through 1993.

Part B: Law-Related Education Program - Amends ESEA to require the Secretary, with respect to grants or contracts under the law-related education program, to: (1) give priority to statewide programs; and (2) make such grants or contracts for periods of two or three years (or less, under special circumstances); and (3) convene a panel of experts to review the applications for such grants or contracts.

Title IV: National Council on Education Standards and Testing - National Council on Education Standards and Testing Act - Establishes the National Council on Education Standards and Testing to advise the American people on whether there should and can be established: (1) suitable specific education standards; and (2) an appropriate system of voluntary national tests or examinations, with the goal of fostering good teaching and learning as well as monitoring performance, while respecting State and local control of education.

Directs the Council to submit a final report to the Secretary of Education, the Congress, and the National Education Goals Panel by December 31, 1991.

Provides for the Council to have 32 members with: (1) the Secretary of Education to appoint 22 members, including representatives from specified groups; (2) the Chairperson (or designee) of the current National Education Goals Panel, and the Governor (or designee) designated to serve as such Panal Chairperson in the succeeding year, both to serve as Council members; and (3) the remaining eight to be each appointed by specified congressional leaders and committee members.

Authorizes appropriations.

Terminates the Council 90 days after it submits its final report.