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Cavazos, Bennett, and Bell: First Steps

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Following is a summary of the early initiatives of Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos and his two Reagan Administration predecessors.

A well-received package of regulatory, legislative, and administrative measures designed to reduce student-loan defaults.

A set of initiatives aiming to promote parental choice.

A package of programs drafted in conjunction with the White House, including a merit schools program, alternative-certification grants, and awards for excellent teachers.

A proposal for reauthorization of vocational-education programs.

A proposal to allow school districts to pool funds from separate federal programs.

The department has also launched a joint study of problems in Indian education with the Interior Department, a report to the President on the state of American education, and a model-curriculum project.

William J. Bennett

A proposal to distribute Chapter 1 aid through parental vouchers.

Regulations tightening student-loan rules.

A plan to reorganize the department's research functions.

A proposal to allow bilingual-education funds to flow to programs that do not use students' native languages.

Mr. Bennett also campaigned for tuition tax credits, launched a major study of elementary education, and gave speeches on his theme of "content, character, and choice."

Terrel H. Bell

Withdrawal of regulations that would have mandated native-language instruction for limited-English-proficient children.

A plan to consolidate many education programs into block grants.

A proposal to limit student loans to low-income families.

A new policy allowing the resolution of civil-rights violations without a formal finding of wrongdoing.

A proposal for replacing ed with a downsized foundation.

Appointment of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, the panel that eventually produced A Nation at Risk.

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