DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad says the House-passed education reform measure is an important first step and he's pushing the Senate to move forward on its proposal so a final bill can be worked out.

Branstad established school reform as one of his priorities this year but Republicans and Democrats still have significant differences in their approaches.

The Republican-led House bill establishes new procedures for evaluating teachers and holds back third-graders who aren't reading at grade level.

The Democratic-controlled Senate has its own bill and many in the party have questioned the proposal to hold back third-graders if they don't pass a reading test and the teacher evaluation methods.

Branstad says he'd like to see some items strengthened but for the most part he's pleased with the House bill.