Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos met last week with more than 100 representatives of the education community, pledging to listen to their concerns and to enlist them in his efforts to increase educational opportunity.
“I want to encourage your cooperation and encourage you to work with this department,” said Mr. Cavazos, who had invited the educators to meet with him. “I4promise I’m going to listen to you, and I hope, on occasion, you’ll listen to me.”
“I’m sure we’ll agree far more often than we will disagree,” he said.
Mr. Cavazos’ style and message were in sharp contrast to those of his predecessor, William J. Bennett, who frequently criticized and antagonized the education community. And educators at the meeting expressed cautious approval of the change.
“We’ll find out how meaningful this is when the budget comes out,” quipped Gordon Ambach, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The new Secretary called for an alliance between educators, policymakers, and the public to stem dropout rates and improve student achievement.
“It’s everybody’s problem,” he said. “Education is everybody’s business.”