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.

Mr. Cavazos

  • 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.

    Vol. 8, Issue 39, Page 17

    Published in Print: June 21, 1989, as Cavazos, Bennett, and Bell: First Steps
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