WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government is "reaching a moment of decision" on education policy, President Bush said Wednesday as he laid out his bottom line for House-Senate negotiators not moving as quickly as he'd like to overhaul the nation's schools.
"We're coming down to the wire. We've got to finish strong and make sure the accountability measure are right," Bush said.
The president used a speech to the National Urban League to prod lawmakers working this week on Capitol Hill to hammer out differences between House and Senate education bills that would bring several major changes to the federal system, foremost among them the requirement that students be tested annually as a measure school performance. The House and Senate versions differ over how to define a failing school and what to do with one that's been identified.
Bush called the failure of so many urban schools "a great and continuing scandal" but pressed lawmakers to give those schools ample time to turn themselves around.
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