LAURO CM^ZOS, secretary of education,nis living down to our expectations.nAs we noted in our January issue,nthe warning signs were abundant asnearly as his confirmation hearings,nwhere he pledged to repudiate thenworks of his predecessor, William Bennett,nand basked in the encomiums ofnSenator Kennedy. If there were anyndoubts then that Cavazos would provena pliant tool of the education establishment,nhis recent firing of PatricianHines as head of the Office of EducationalnResearch and Improvementn(OERI) has dispelled them.nMrs. Hines, a recess appointment ofnPresident Reagan, enjoyed strong supportnfrom congressional Republicans,nand both she and her supporters in thenSenate had been assured by the BushnWhite House that she would be keptnon in her job. There was, however, anproblem: she is a solid conservative, annadvocate of demonstrably sound teachingnmethods such as phonics and ofnmeasures to increase parental choice inneducation such as magnet schools andnvouchers. Her presence as head ofnOERI, which dispenses millions ofndollars in research grants, was thereforenintolerable to “education research”ngroups accustomed to feeding at thenfederal trough. Mrs. Hines soon foundnherself the target of the educationalnestablishment, and moreover of Americannliberalism in general. People fornthe American Way launched a campaignnagainst her, and Senator Kennedy,noff on a trip with Cavazos, personallynurged that she be fired.nCavazos, for his part, may not havenneeded much convincing. WhennHines had a speech written for Cavazosnendorsing parental choice, henrefused to deliver it. In its place, hendelivered one in which he accepted anpoll showing 71 percent of the publicnagreeing that parents “should have thenright to choose the local schools theirnchildren attend,” but purporting to ben”worried about that other 29 percent,”nwho presumably do not wish to bengiven a choice. (If you can follow thatnlogic, you too can be secretary ofneducation.) He then fell to whiningnthat parental choice should not benpushed because “we desperately needn6/CHRONICLESnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnpeace” in the “educational community.”nIt isn’t hard to see that the groupnCavazos worries about isn’t some imaginaryn29 percent of the populace,nbut the members of the National EducationnAssociation.nThe ascendancy of the educationnprofessionals is evident in the remarkablynopen campaign they conductednagainst Mrs. Hines. They scarcelynbothered concealing their motivationsnwith the usual accusations (“ethicalnviolations,” etc.) that normally covernthis sort of Washington power grab.nThe American Educational ResearchnAssociation, in a memo enjoining itsnmembership to write letters againstnher, found it sufficient to charge hernwith such crimes as association withnGary Bauer and the “justifiably muchmaligned”nNational Council on EducationalnResearch. (The latter tried tonprotect taxpayers from unwittingly subsidizingnfeminist and homosexual tractsndisguised as “research” — how to eliminaten”sex roles” and “gender identity”nfrom public education, that sort ofnthing.) Other education lobbyists havenopenly called on the Bush administrationnto “sweep out” all the remainingnconservatives in the Education Department.nThe educationists may be emboldenednnot only by rising power but byna feeling of righteousness. Liberals regardnthe Education Department asnrightfully theirs (they did create it),nunjustly usurped from them by unbelievers,nbut now ready for reclamation.nIt is a far cry from a few years ago,nwhen liberal Secretary of EducationnTerrel Bell felt compelled (as he admitsnin his book The Thirteenth Man) to atnleast pretend he favored PresidentnReagan’s agenda. But even Reagan’snbest appointees managed only to discomfitnthe education establishment,nnever to dislodge it. Now we have then”education president,” and with Cavazosnas his right hand it is increasinglynclear what that means: what the establishmentnwants, it will get. (MK)nCHILDREN’S SUFFRAGE?nMinnesota State Rep. Phyllis Kahnn(from Minneapolis) has introduced annnbill in the State Assembly to given12-year-olds the vote. She is perfectlynserious. The Harvard M.S. and YalenPh.D. compared all arguments againstnher initiative to those once used againstnwomen and blacks. “It’s kind of annadult supremacist attitude,” she said.nKahn selected the age of 12 arbitrarily.n”I’d been told that the generalninstructions in government pamphletsnand stories in newspapers are written tonbe understandable at the sixth gradenlevel. That’s how I came up with it.”nAs one of the local newspapers remarked,nit was important, too, to picknan age when kids are old enough andntall enough to pull the lever by themselves.nWhen asked if children would benable to understand complicated legislativenissues on taxes and school aids,nKahn replied, “I don’t think kids understandnthem any less than mostnadults. Why, there aren’t more than anhandful of legislators who understandnthe school aids issue and they’re votingnon it. Besides, people don’t vote onnissues anyway. They end up voting onngut issues. The general electorate usuallynvotes on people. And I don’t thinknkids’ judgment of people is necessarilyninferior to that of adults. In some waysnit may be superior, because it hasn’tnbeen tainted by as much contact withnthe real world.n”We’ve had a lot of discussion aboutnhow the needs of children haven’t beennaddressed in the political process. Inthink in the long run, children will farenmuch better in the political process ifnthey have the chance to stand up forntheir rights.”nKahn means to work great mischiefnby a proposal whose main objective isnto politicize children against their parents.nBut since kids would generallynvote with mom and dad, the real (andnironic) effect would be to give additionalnvotes to parents according to thennumber of children in the family — thengreatest bad idea to come out of Minnesotansince Gene McCarthy.n