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Federal Lawmakers Pushing History, Civics

When he's not jabbing President Obama for making public his NCAA tournament picks, Sen. Lamar Alexander is introducing legislation aimed at improving the teaching of U.S. history. Alexander, a former U.S. secretary of education, is sponsoring legislation that would sponsor 100 new summer academies for outstanding teachers and students of U.S. history. The academies would be "aligned with academies in the U.S. Park System," such as Independence Hall.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Robert Byrd and Sen. Edward Kennedy, would also require states to develop standards for testing using history, though history wouldn't be made part the AYP mix under No Child Left Behind. They also want to create a 10-state pilot project for history and civics on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, allowing for state-by-state comparisons. It's an issue that Alexander and Kennedy have been interested in for some time.

No offense to Alexander, but I'll confess that I watched "Barack-Etology" (as ESPN called it) with interest, as I'm sure lots of hoops fans did. I'll take March Madness tips wherever I can get them.

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