State policymakers wary of effect on their efforts.
For its 42 years, the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act has emphasized the “elementary” in its title.
Now the Bush administration, with its proposals to reauthorize the current version of the ESEA, the No Child Left Behind Act, wants to use the law to change the way high schools prepare students for college and careers. The plan would require schools to assess students’ readiness for life after graduation and, for the first time, would create a funding stream dedicated to high schools in the law’s $12.7 billion flagship program, Title I.
“The kinds of recommendations we’re making here flesh out ideas for a part of the educational spectrum that needs attention,” Kristin D. Conklin, a senior adviser to Undersecretary of Education Sara Martinez…