Education Secretary William J. Bennett says the average teacher salary of $22,000 is about right for the "average teacher," but that the "very good" ones should get more and bad teachers should get "zero."
Bennett, in an interview with the National Education Assn., America's biggest teachers' union, also said that if given a magic wand that could accomplish one change in schools he would wave it to eliminate drugs.
"No drugs--none, zero, out, gone, disappear," Bennett said in the interview to be published in the June edition of the union's monthly magazine, "NEA Today."
On a personal note, Bennett, 41, a former college scholar and football player, asked if he has stayed in touch with any of his schoolteachers, said, "I got a letter from a third-grade teacher upon my appointment" as secretary in January.
"She said she never would have guessed it in a million years," Bennett said.