Loose ends to drive second term education agenda

Lawmakers from both parties may be more timid next term about embracing Common Core.

Loose ends and thorny partisan issues that have long dogged attempts to move forward on education await the next Congress as President Barack Obama’s second term begins.

Soaring campaign-year aspirations to close the achievement gap and boost college graduation rates to the highest in the world may have to fall back to earth — at least temporarily — as lawmakers and Obama tackle a number of gritty funding-related issues that just can’t wait.

First up is sequestration, the automatic, government-wide spending cuts set to knock out 8.2 percent of the funding to almost all of the Education Department’s programs — unless Congress acts before the end of the year to avert the cuts.…Read More

Trouble lurking ahead for Obama’s education focus

Troubled times are on the horizon for Obama's education plan.

Signs of trouble are arising for President Barack Obama’s plan to put education overhaul at the forefront of his agenda as he adjusts to the new reality of a divided government.

Giving students and teachers more flexibility is an idea with bipartisan support. Yet the debate about the overdue renewal of the nation’s chief education law, known as No Child Left Behind, is complicated by political pressures from the coming 2012 presidential campaign and disputes over timing, money and scope of the update.

While education might offer the best chance for the White House to work with newly empowered Republicans, any consensus could fade in the pitiless political crosscurrents, leaving the debate for another day, perhaps even another presidency.…Read More