WASHINGTON — Secretary of Education William J. Bennett invited citizens and educators alike today to help him assess the impact of reforms on the nation's schools.
Bennett solicited the advice as part of his own homework for an assignment he got from President Reagan last spring: writing a follow-up report to "A Nation at Risk," a 1983 school critique by a panel of Reagan Administration advisers.
In the wake of that study by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which warned of "a rising tide of mediocrity" in U.S. schools, many states rushed to raise high school graduation standards, boost teacher salaries, experiment with merit pay and embark on other reforms.
Bennett said he is mailing letters to more than 700 education and civic leaders this week asking them to provide their own detailed assessments of the nation's educational progress.
His department is also publishing a notice in the Federal Register inviting the public to offer their views on school reform.