Federal officials granted the state's request to give its English-language learners two years in a U.S. school before counting their test scores in school grades.
The U.S. Department of Education gave education researchers a special holiday present: Reams upon reams of state and district level data on the equitable distribution of teachers.
It can also be pretty tricky to communicate with parents and the public about the standards, states told the GAO, which is considered Congress' investigative arm.
Waiver states that are rolling out brand new assessments this school year may not have to worry about federal consequences stemming from the tests.
There is probably no prospective candidate in either party more closely identified with K-12 education policy than the former Republican governor from Florida.
That's an idea that's likely to prove popular with education organizations, especially teachers' unions.
Lawmakers want the School Improvement Grant program to be more flexible for states. And they want to see the Investing in Innovation grant program focused on high schools.
Duncan's role in the event was as a participant and marcher, not a speaker, or dignitary.
Education advocates will be pleased to know that her top priorities for the committee include reauthorizing the long-stalled No Child Left Behind law.
Special education has been a big focus for Harkin, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1974, then the Senate in 1984.