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Secretary of Labor Elizabeth H. Dole said last week that the Bush Administration is considering ways to make it easier for workers to transfer pension benefits when they change employment.

The issue of pension portability is an important one for teachers, who currently can lose significant portions of their future retirement income when they switch to jobs in different states. Union leaders and some state policymakers have called for measures to increase portability in order to foster the mobility of the teacher workforce. (See Education Week, Nov. 23, 1988.)

"If employees are going to have two or three or four jobs in their work lives, we're going to have to figure out how they can take their pensions with them from job to job," Ms. Dole said after meeting in Florida with the leaders of organized labor.

Although the Administration does not yet have a specific proposal for dealing with the problem, she said, pension "portability is something we need to look at."

The National Assessment of Educational Progress should be strengthened as a part of an overall effort to boost the nation's competitiveness, a group of business and labor leaders says in a new report.

The recommendation was included in a policy agenda for the Bush Administration issued by the Council on Competitiveness.

The council expressed support for broadening naep to include state-by-state comparisons of educational performance. It also recommended that the Education Department provide more support for innovative reform programs and that schools expand efforts in early-childhood education.

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