Education: Better Grades for Bill Bennett

The feisty Secretary is converting some of his critics

In his freshman year in office -- at least the way his critics saw it -- Secretary of Education William Bennett misbehaved like a classroom bully. He brashly backhanded many university students as beach bums who loafed on Government loans, blasted what he called the "failed path" of bilingual education, charged that rising college tuitions and cafeteria-style curriculums were a rip-off and assailed fat in congressional education budgets. Except for hearty support from President Reagan, whom Bennett strove mightily to please, most reaction from lawmakers and educators ranged from bemusement to cold rage. California Democrat Augustus Hawkins, chairman of the House...

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