An influential education group is trying to convince President Bush that he can bring about dramatic school improvements with little or no extra spending if he adopts its prescriptions for change.

"First, go for quality. Second, reward success in producing quality. Third, let the people on the firing line figure out how to get the job done and get rid of as much of the bureacracy as possible," says the blueprint released Thursday by the National Center on Education and the Economy.The report calls on Bush to set ambitious national math and science performance goals that match or exceed those of students anywhere in the world.

It also recommends letting some school districts use federal money more freely, waiving the usual red tape and regulations in favor of innovative local plans for as long as students continue to progress. The successful projects would serve as models to reform basic federal programs later on.

New emphasis and cooperation among all levels of government in the areas of day care, early childhood education and workforce literacy are also envisioned in the report, called "To Secure Our Future: The Federal Role in Education."