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Castle Bill Seeks Consensus for NCLB's Future

With NCLB on the back burner until next year, Rep. Michael N. Castle, R-Del., has introduced a bill that could be the starting point for discussion in 2009.

The bill includes lots of ideas from the bipartisan discussion draft that leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee released last year, according to this press release issued jointly by Castle and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif. They are the most important Republicans on the education committee.

According to a summary on Castle's Web site, the bill would:

1.) Require states to rewrite their standards to make them compatible with expectations for colleges and the workplace.
2.) Ask the National Academy of Sciences to explain the best method for comparing states' standards.
3.) Create two "separate and distinct school improvement and assistance systems" and two separate ways of redesigning schools, depending on the severity of the student achievement problems in those schools.
4.) Revive the Reading First program. See H.R. 1939 sponsored by Castle and McKeon.
5.) Establish a uniform method of calculating graduation rates.

Time reporters may point to this as a sign that NCLB could move quickly next year. But, remember that the discussion draft didn't advance last year.

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