It's far from clear, at this relatively early stage, whether the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education will go the legislative route to pursue whatever changes its members desire. But if the panel chooses to do so, it will almost certainly need the help of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the former U.S. education secretary and University of Tennessee president who heads the Senate's education subcommittee.
On Thursday, President Bush and a bevy of government officials -- including the secretaries of state, education and defense -- announced a wide ranging plan to enhance the foreign language skills of American students.
Several college leaders applauded attention to an area that many view as underdeveloped in the United States. At the same time, others said that they needed more details about the plan -- few of which were released -- and some have expressed concern over the large Pentagon role in it.