Federal File: Hawkins vs. choice; Bennett's resolution; Farewell to Wright

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Representative Augustus F. Hawkins, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, thinks the current debate on parental choice in education has been one-sided.

The California Democrat plans to respond next month by releasing a committee report on choice that will stress the views of opponents, aides said.

Mr. Hawkins fears open-enrollment programs will lead to segregation and elitism and worsen the situation of disadvantaged children.

During negotiations on last year's education-reauthorization bill, he staunchly--and successfully--resisted proposals to allow magnet-school grants to go to districts that are not using the magnet concept for desegregation.

Mr. Hawkins asked his staff last month to compile a report on the issue, and has sent one aide to Minnesota to get a closer look at that state's controversial choice program.

Aides said he was motivated by President-elect George Bush's promise to promote choice, as well as by increased attention to the topic by education reformers and the media, which he thinks has focused heavily on the views of choice advocates.

Aides said that Mr. Hawkins does not anticipate a legislative battle this year, but simply wants to publicize the arguments of choice opponents.

When Mr. Bush nominated him to be the first federal "drug czar," William J. Bennett vowed to do something that may prove to be almost as hard for him as persuading the Congress to cut education spending.

The former secretary of education promised to quit smoking cigarettes.

"You will not have a director of national drug policy who smokes," Mr. Bennett told reporters.

Although Mr. Bennett avoided smoking at official occasions during his tenure as Secretary, his habit was a well-known secret.

After he and Mr. Bush had addressed a group of teachers attending the inauguration, Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos expressed his thanks for the service of Undersecretary Linus D. Wright and presented him with a plaque.

Mr. Cavazos said he tried to persuade Mr. Wright to stay on, but he had other commitments. The former Dallas school superintendent has been hired by a Dallas-based executive-search firm to bring in business in the education field.

"Don't go too far," Mr. Cavazos told him. "Now we can call you back and you can work for free."--jm

Vol. 08, Issue 18

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >