Education: The Secretary of Controversy: William Bennet

William Bennett riles constituencies outside the White House

Barely a month ago, big (6 ft. 2 in.), bluff William Bennett looked upon his early works as Secretary of Education and declared them good. "I have more affinity with the views of the American people than do most of my academic colleagues," he announced. "I think I am in the mainstream of American thinking."

If so, then it is a turbulent mainstream, and at times Bennett has seemed in need of a pilot. Since taking office Feb. 6, he has been a forceful exponent of quality and responsibility in education. His style, however, has been politically maladroit, offending educators and...

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