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Friday Reading List: Walking Away From Common Core, NCLB Waivers

Happy Friday! There was a ton of state activity this week, with implications for federal policy. And most of it was centered around ... you guessed it ... the common core. For more—and a range of other ed policy news and developments to watch for—check out these good reads:

•In case you're not up on your State Ed Watch reading, yesterday two more GOP governors took aim at the common core—in Utah and Wisconsin. Plus...so a state has dropped out of the common-core standards? How much time do they have to create brand new standards, and are they really starting from scratch? Andrew Ujifusa explains it all here.

•Speaking of Utah, the U.S. Department of Education is set to announce a round of No Child Left Behind waiver extensions this summer. But the Beehive State is contemplating saying thanks but no thanks, the Salt Lake Tribune's Lisa Schencker reports. That would mean a return to NCLB, and a loss of control over some Title I dollars for disadvantaged kids. Yesterday, at a standing-room only meeting, the board decided to put off its decision about whether to apply for a waiver extension until early next month. (The state has until late August to get its paperwork in to the feds.) The panel even heard from North Dakota state Chief Kirsten Baesler about what waiverless life is like. 

•The other half of Politics K-12, Lauren Camera, noticed that the chairmen of the House and Senate education committees may be racing to see who can clear the most bipartisan bills out of their committees. Just last week, the Education and the Workforce Committee, under the leadership of John Kline, R-Minn., marked up and passed three higher education bills with support both sides of the aisle. Two of those bills could get a vote by the full chamber as early as next week since they are now active on the Rules Committee web site.

Then, this week, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, under the leadership of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced plans to mark up eight bipartisan bills next Wednesday, July 23. The slate of bills includes one that the House passed in October that would require school districts to conduct comprehensive background checks on any employee with unsupervised access to kids.

•Charles G. Koch of the Koch brothers (yes those Koch brothers) is working to influence school curriculum. Koch want to teach kids, essentially to embrace a "radical free-market ideology," according to the Huffington Post. The story here. Plus, bonus analysis of from Edweek's own Mark Walsh, over at Education and the Media.

•Is the school reform movement splintering? Mike Petrilli thinks it might be. More at Flypaper.

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