ERIC Clearinghouses on the Chopping Block: TODAY is the deadline to react to the plan

Alkistis Fleischer fleischa at
Fri May 9 20:20:10 UTC 2003

Dear members of the Consortium for Language Policy and Planning: 

If you have not yet reacted to the U.S. Department of Education's draft plan to eliminate all 16 ERIC Clearinghouses along with many of the publications and services they provide, please do so till today, May 9.
The Action Alert is appended below. To view a sample letter that you can conveniently use go to:

ERIC Clearinghouses on the Chopping Block!

The U.S. Department of Education has issued a draft plan for a "New ERIC" system. Unless this plan is modified, all 16 ERIC clearinghouses will be eliminated along with many of the publications and services they provide. The public has an opportunity to comment until May 9, 2003. 

The plan for the "New ERIC" does the following: 

The Good News 

· Calls for the streamlining of database processing, the establishment of clear and rigorous standards for the selection of documents, and the inclusion of the full text of documents whenever possible. 

The Bad News 

· Calls for a single contractor to operate the ERIC database, with no provision for the continuation of the 16 subject-specific clearinghouses-hence, no more ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics.

· Eliminates clearinghouse Web sites currently visited by 22.5 million unique visitors a year.

· Calls for no question answering, reference and referral services, or publications during the first year of the contract, then leaves it up to the contractor to decide whether or not to provide such services at all.

·Makes no provision for access to ERIC information by those without access to a computer and the Internet. 

·Calls only for materials written in English to be acquired for the database, representing a significant loss of valuable information for language education professionals.

There is still time to change it! 

If the proposed changes do not reflect your vision of ERIC, ask your legislators and Secretary Paige to maintain the ERIC Clearinghouses with their information services and user-friendly products and Web sites, and to continue comprehensive coverage of the education literature. Please make your views known no later than May 9 to: 

Your Senators: Please click here for the listing of Senators. 

Your Congressional Representative: Please click here to find your Representative. 

Send a copy of each letter to Secretary of Education Rod Paige at fax number 202-401-0596 (or via email to Rod.Paige at and to Jeff Halstead (the contract specialist collecting official responses to the draft statement) at fax number 202-708-9817 or via email at Jeff.C.Halsted at 

To view a sample letter, please click here. 

Faxed letters on institutional letterhead are best. If you need to send your letters via email, be sure to include your full name and postal address. 

For additional up-to-date information on ERIC, please visit: ERIC Reauthorization News. 

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