CHARLOTTESVILLE, SEPT. 28 -- President Bush and the nation's governors agreed today to establish "an ambitious and realistic set of performance goals" for America's schools by early next year, but they left undefined who would do what to achieve them. The final statement from the education summit at the University of Virginia emphasized that state and local governments provide nine of every 10 dollars for schooling and "should continue to bear that lion's share of the load." But it said Washington must play a "leading role" in pre-school programs and called for expansion of such efforts as Head Start. In private discussions last night, Bush aides insisted the governors remove from their preliminary draft a proposal that the federal government take special responsibility for ending illiteracy and assuring drug-free schools in the District of Columbia and for targeting assistance from all Cabinet departments to a handful of big-city and rural districts with severe school problems. Roger Porter, the White House domestic policy adviser, said the proposal "didn't really fit" the broad goals in the rest of the statement. Both the White House and many governors reacted angrily to the suggestion on Wednesday by national drug control policy director William J. Bennett, the former secretary of education, that much of what happened here was "pap." Chief of Staff John H. Sununu retorted, "The governors knew what they were talking about." Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), chairman of the National Governors' Association, called the Bennett remark "flip," adding, "The general consensus was. . . he went overboard." Bush used his address today to rekindle public support for the school reform movement, but he avoided a commitment to greatly expanding the federal role. "Our nation is still at risk," he said, borrowing the conclusion of the report six years ago that sparked the reform effort. "Our focus must no longer be on resources. It must be on results." Some Democratic governors urged Bush to face the spending issue more squarely. Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles said, "We ought to acknowledge that the federal budget situation has left the states increasingly on their own." But rather than confront Bush directly, the governors celebrated what Branstad called their success in getting the president to "put education back at the top of the national agenda." The national goals, as drafted last night and today, are to "guarantee an internationally competitive standard" in seven areas: "The readiness of all children to start school." "The performance of students on international achievement tests, especially in math and science." "The reduction of the dropout rate and the improvement of academic performance, especially among at-risk students." "The functional literacy of adult Americans." "The level of training necessary to guarantee a competitive work force." "The supply of qualified teachers and up-to-date technology." "The establishment of safe, disciplined and drug-free schools." The statement called for annual report cards on progress toward those objectives. In addition, a task force is "to begin work immediately" to change regulations and to recommend legislation "early next year that will provide to states and local recipients greater flexibility in the use of federal {education} funds, in return for firm commitments to improved levels of education and skill training." The governors pledged parallel action on state regulations. The NGA task force on education, headed by Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton (D) and South Carolina Gov. Carroll A. Campbell Jr. (R), was instructed to have the national performance standards "completed and announced in early 1990," probably February. Other parts of the program are vaguer both in timing and content. The promised "restructuring" of the education system would be done entirely at the state and local level, and the summit blessed several alternative and possibly conflicting approaches. One would allow parents to choose the schools their children attend, a strategy the administration is planning to push at cross-country hearings starting next month. Another is "school-based management," or allowing teachers and principals greater control of budgets and programs, a favorite of education reformers. A third is alternate certification of teachers, a device some states are using to bring in skilled professionals who lack education degrees. And a fourth is incentive payments for successful schools and teachers and some unspecified form of punishment for those that fail. Bennett's sarcastic remark yesterday pointed up the fears of White House officials and governors that the two-day summit would be dismissed as an exercise in public relations irrelevant to school reform. But leaders of the two largest teachers' unions who observed the summit praised it. Keith Geiger, president of the National Education Association, said, "We were very pleased. . . when the president said he will take responsibility for getting kids to school healthy, and when the governors said they would restructure the schools from the bottom up, not the top down." Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called it a "historic turning point to agree on national standards and goals and a system for reporting to the American people on their achievement. It will drive what happens in the schools."