Education: Parting Words

After two years as U.S. Commissioner of Education, Terrel H. Bell, 54, stepped down from the top spot in American public education last week. A straight-talking Mormon and ex-Marine first sergeant, Bell is going on to a better paid position as commissioner of higher education in Utah (TIME, May 3). Some excerpts from a recent interview with Bell conducted by TIME Washington Correspondent Don Sider:

SCHOOL FINANCING. The biggest problem in the American public school system is an ancient school-financing program that depends upon property taxes. The difference between one district's tax evaluation per pupil and another's causes an enormous amount of...

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