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Senior Republican Sees 'Pragmatic Changes' for NCLB

Rep. Thomas E. Petri, R-Wis., one of the most senior members of the House Education and Labor Committee, suggests that he and his colleagues should set aside politics and practice common sense in this online commentary.

"It’s time to set the heated rhetoric of special interests aside and pass a set of pragmatic changes this year," he writes.

Those "pragmatic changes" should be:

1. Create growth models for accountability.
2. Change interventions in schools to target "resources on the schools that need them most, without wasting taxpayers’ money on schools that are otherwise on target, save for a small category of students."
3. Allow states to use computer-adaptive tests, which he says provide better information on student performance than the tests now being used. (Rep. Petri has sponsored a computer-adaptive testing bill, which I wrote about back in October.)

Look at this list and compare it with ones enumerated by Capitol Hill aides. There's some overlap. But will Congress, the administration, and interest groups "set the heated rhetoric ... aside?"

Headlines from the Feb. 6, 2008, issue of Education Week:
Bush Latest 'Voucher' Idea May Face Same Fate as Others
Key Democrats Join President in Seeking to Revive NCLB Renewal
Commentary: Inside the 'Crucible' of School Reform and 'Scientific Research' and Policymaking

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