Democrats, GOP Agree in Principle on Federal Role
The sweeping education plan proposed by President Bush last week reflects a growing political consensus that the federal government should step up the pressure on states and school districts to improve academic achievement, especially for disadvantaged children, observers say.
While the details of how that pressure should be applied are sure to be the subject of debate in the coming months, Mr. Bush's plan has struck a chord among members of both major political parties who believe that federal funding should be tied to student performance.
"This whole package is actually trying in a serious way to leverage behavior changes," said Chester E. Finn Jr., the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and a former assistant education secretary in the Reagan administration. "I now sense a pretty universal agreement [that the current shape of the federal...
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