Representatives of five education associations met last week with a group of conservatives led by Phyllis Schlafly to try to settle questions on new Education Department rules for handling complaints brought under the 1978 law known as the Hatch Amendment; its final regulations took effect last month.
The law, strongly supported by conservatives and opposed by the array of Washington-based education associations, guarantees the rights of parents and guardians to inspect federally financed instructional materials. It also says that students cannot be forced to submit without prior parental consent to federally financed psychological testing.
At an Election Day meeting, Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell rejected the request of representatives of the associations to rescind the regulations, according to Claudia A. Mansfield of the American Association of School Administrators and a spokesman for the group.
At that meeting Linda Coombs, the deputy undersecretary for management, suggested another gathering, which would include supporters of the law, to see "how the department can implement the regulations with the least amount of friction from both sides," according to Malcolm Lawrence, a supporter of the law who attended last Wednesday's meeting.
Ms. Mansfield had said that the department had yet to explain "exactly how [it would] handle complaints" from parents and guardians.
She called last week's meeting productive but said she did not know what "the upshot" would be.
The Congressional Research Service, at the request of a Democratic Senate aide, has compiled a list of William J. Bennett's writings and is preparing a similar index on John R. Silber. They are said to be the leading contenders for Mr. Bell's job.
According to the CRS, Mr. Bennett, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has written extensively on the subjects of values and character education--for example, an article called "What Value is Values Education"--and also was co-author of a book that is said to oppose affirmative action; its title is Counting by Race: Equality From the Founding Fathers to Bakke and Weber.
Davidson Makes 3
If an Administration deadlock develops over Secretary Bell's successor, the University of Georgia's president, Fred C. Davidson, might make a "nice compromise choice," according to an aide of Senator Mack Mattingly, Republican of Georgia.
Senator Mattingly submitted Mr. Davidson's name to the White House, and last Wednesday, he met with Becky Norton Dunlop, deputy assistant to the President for Presidential personnel, and other personnel officials, according to an aide to Senator Mattingly.
Mr. Davidson reportedly described himself as a supporter of the policies of Mr. Bell, who was not popular among conservative Republicans.--jh
Vol. 04, Issue 14