Among the main themes to emerge from meetings of the Education Secretary's Commission on the Future of Higher Education: whether students -- and not just the so-called "traditional" ones -- are making sufficient progress toward a degree.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings continues to try to counter the twin perceptions of her Education Department as lax on enforcement on the one hand and inappropriately meddling in the affairs of colleges on the other.
She appeared for the final time before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to defend President Bush's final education budget. And as farewell receptions go, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings' wasn't particularly warm.
"I don't know what you guys are smoking over there," said Rep. Dennis Rehberg of Montana.