Bush's education bill survived a double-barreled assault on
Wednesday as the Senate upheld a requirement for annual math
and reading tests and preserved an experimental program that
would cut regulations in hopes of improving student performance.
signaled that the bipartisan coalition behind the measure remained
intact after last week's historic mid-session Senate shift to
a Democratic majority. After a marathon debate lasting more
than a month, final passage is expected as early as today.
final approval, Education Secretary Rod Paige said he hoped
House and Senate negotiators could begin a "summer school session"
and wrap up a final compromise quickly "so we can get school
started with a smile."
and reading testing for students in the third through eighth
grades is the cornerstone of Bush's effort to improve student
achievement. Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., led the effort to
add an amendment to make them optional by the states, rather