Voluntary Testing Plan Clears Hurdle

Associated Press

Senate negotiators reached agreement Wednesday night on President Clinton's proposal for voluntary national math and reading tests, Democrats said, but prospects for the bill remained dim in the House.

Two Democratic aides said Wednesday night that a compromise in the Senate was fashioned from Clinton's offer to hand oversight of the tests to the National Assessment Governing Board, an independent agency created by Congress.

Under the compromise, two mayors, one from each party, would be added to the 26-member assessment board. And in addition to the Republican and Democratic governor already on the panel, a third governor would be included from whatever party does not control the White House.

House Republican leaders are pushing a competing education agenda based on vouchers and other taxpayer support for alternatives to public schools.

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