Less than a year after leaving the U.S. Department of Education, one of Secretary Arne Duncan's former key staffers is returning as a senior adviser.
Below the surface of pleasantries and backslapping, a policy split continues to grow over whether to beef up accountability provisions in the bill to overhaul the education law.
While the administration wishes the bill did more to ensure states focus on their lowest-performing students and schools, it stopped short of issuing a veto threat.
The call came just minutes before the U.S. Senate kicked off debate on its bill and just one day after the White House said that the bill falls short on accountability.
An amendment would provide $30 billion for high-quality, full-day preschool for 4-year-olds from families earning below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
The Obama administration worries the House and Senate bills to rewrite ESEA don't do go far enough on accountability.
The opt-out movement hasn't really been a key issue as Congress wrestles with reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but that could change this week.
The good news? The chances of finishing a bill and getting it to the president's desk by the end of this year or early next are better than they ever, ever have been before. The bad news? It's far from a slam dunk.
Webb was a Democratic senator from 2007 to 2013, and worked on English-language learner and testing issues while in the U.S. Senate.
Just five states—Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas—opted to come up with their own turnaround models and submit them to the U.S. Department of Education for approval.