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Government Shutdown Beats Ravitch, Common Core as Hottest Topics

We're coming into the home stretch of 2013—a rollercoaster year on the federal budget front, and a pivotal point for the administration's Elementary and Secondary Education Act waivers and its marquee competitive grant program, Race to the Top, as well as for implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

So what were the most-read posts in 2013 on Politics K-12? Here's a rundown:

15) U.S. Department of Education Protestors Turn Fierce Rhetoric on 'Corporate Reform' One teacher protesting outside 400 Maryland Ave. called former D.C. chancellor Michelle Rhee "an Asian bitch."

14) Ed. Dept. Names 31 Finalists for Race to the Top Districts Contest: This year, the department listed the top contenders, and then chose five winners with a mostly rural focus.

13) Diane Ravitch Launches New Education Advocacy Counterforce: Ravitch said she'd like to help support candidates who are skeptical of high-stakes testing.

12) U.S. Department of Education Grants California Districts' Core Waiver The first and only ESEA waiver just to a set of districts, not a state.

11) Arne Duncan Mounts Strongest Defense Yet of Common-Core Standards Duncan tried to beat back claims that the federal government has overstepped in its championing of the standards.

10) Sequestration and Education: 12 Frequently Asked Questions Everything you ever wanted to know about the federal cuts.

9) Government Shutdown Pulse Check: For Education, Worst is Yet to Come A look at what would happen to education if the shutdown dragged on.

8) Arne Duncan Attaches More Strings to NCLB Waiver Renewals  The Education Department originally planned to use the renewal process to prod states to address long-standing teacher quality issues. But later, it backed off.

7) High Schools to Compete for $100 Million in New Race to the Top-Style Contest The Obama administration shook the couch cushions loose to find funding for its high school overhaul initiative

6) K-12 Aid Faces Uncertain Future, Despite 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Budget woes were a huge theme on Politics K-12 in 2013. And this New Year's Day post kicked it off.

5) Obama Urges Big Preschool Expansion in State of the Union Speech The president used his biggest spotlight moment of the year to pitch a preschool plan that has virtually no shot of getting through Congress.

4) House Passes Partisan NCLB Rewrite, But Rocky Road Still Ahead The U.S. House of Representatives considered an ESEA reauthorization bill for the first time since 2001. But don't hold your breath for final passage.

3) House Debates No Child Left Behind Rewrite, Makes Big Changes on Teacher Evaluation Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, threw in the towel on teacher evaluation language so that his bill could get through the House.

2) What Does the Possible Government Shutdown Mean for Schools? K-12 education was largely spared the brunt of the partial shutdown.

1) The Shutdown and Education: Your Cheat Sheet  A look at how every education program would be affected by the shutdown. (You guys just couldn't get enough of the fiscal stalemate, could you? Maybe those days are behind us, for now. )

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