William J. Bennett

Read our coverage of the third U.S. Secretary of Education, who served under President Ronald Reagan from 1985 to 1988


William J. Bennett, Third U.S. Education Secretary: Biography and Achievements
Background and highlights of William J. Bennett's tenure as the third U.S. Secretary of Education.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett.
Michael Caulfield/AP-File
Every Student Succeeds Act Ex-Education Secretary William J. Bennett Urges GOP to 'Seize the Day' on ESSA
A new education policy group led by the former secretary wants to ensure that state Republican lawmakers stick to conservative principles as they implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 26, 2016
4 min read
School & District Management Bennett Quits K12 Inc. Under Fire
Former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett abruptly resigned last week from the education company K12 Inc. after his racially charged remarks on abortion and crime sparked a firestorm of criticism.
Rhea R. Borja, October 11, 2005
3 min read
Education Countering William J. Bennett
In testimony before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in January, former National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William J. Bennett insulted the intelligence of teachers in the schools and especially participants in such neh programs as the Summer Seminar for School Teachers. Mr. Bennett testified that works studied in the program were being "Marxized, feminized, deconstructed, and politicized."
Ron Briley, October 11, 1995
5 min read
Education Advice From Bennett and Alexander: Consolidate
The House Republican leadership has turned to two former secretaries of education for advice.
Mark Pitsch & Robert C. Johnston, November 23, 1994
3 min read
Education Bennett To Resign 'Drug Czar' Post
William J. Bennett, the combative and controversial former Secretary of Education, announced last week that he was resigning his position as the federal government's first drug-policy director.
November 14, 1990
3 min read
Education Cavazos, Bennett, and Bell: First Steps
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.
Julie A. Miller, June 21, 1989
1 min read
Education Bennett Names Members of NAEP Board
The 23 members of the new and more powerful governing board of the revamped National Assessment of Education Progress were appointed by Secretary of Education William J. Bennett last week.
Robert Rothman, September 21, 1988
2 min read
Education Bennett, Bloom Will Create Education Research Center
Secretary of Education William J. Bennett plans to team up with Allan Bloom, the University of Chicago scholar, to form a research center to study liberal-arts education and other public-Education Department officials said last week.
Robert Rothman, September 21, 1988
1 min read
Education Dukakis Versus Bennett--Sort of
Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts last week made a Presidential campaign swing through California speaking on education issues, but in his major speech generally avoided committing himself to any specific proposals for improving schools.
William Snider, September 7, 1988
3 min read
Education Bennett Says 'No' to Legal Drug Use
WASHINGTON--Secretary of Education William J. Bennett last week criticized recent calls for the legalization of drug use as a dangerous threat to anti-abuse efforts.

Legalization might reduce drug-related crime, as proponents argue, Mr. Bennett said, but "the primary and most obvious result of the legalization of drugs would be an increase in the use of drugs--and an increase in the damage.''

June 1, 1988
1 min read
Education Bennett, Senators Joust on 'Commitment'
WASHINGTON--Secretary of Education William J. Bennett appeared last week before a Senate Appropriations panel to answer questions about the Administration's 1989 budget request for education. Instead, he was forced to defend controversial spending cuts proposed in previous years.

The Education Department's $21.2-billion proposal for next year would represent a 4 percent increase over current funding, and is nearly $7 billion more than last year's request. But Senator Lowell P. Weicker Jr., Republican of Connecticut, chastised the Secretary for his earlier advocacy of deep cuts in federal aid to education.

May 18, 1988
1 min read
Education On the Road Again: Travels With Bennett
Staff Writer Julie Miller hit the road to cover Secretary Bennett's activities on recent trips to California and Florida. Following is her account:

Thursday, 8 p.m.; the Mariott
Crocker Center Hotel,

April 13, 1988
14 min read
Education Bennett Decries 'Stultifying' Laws
"Omnipresent, stultifying" legal restrictions hinder talented educators and allow poor ones to make excuses for their performance, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett charges in a speech prepared for delivery late last week before the American Bar Association.
Julie A. Miller, February 10, 1988
2 min read
Education Bennett Announces Panel Appointments

Advisory Council on Education Statistics: Margaret C. Broad, executive director and chief executive officer, Arizona Board of Regents, Phoenix; Ellis B. Page, professor of educational psychology and research, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; and Ray Turner, assistant superintendent for educational accountability, Dade County Public Schools, Miami.
February 10, 1988
17 min read