Chafee has been supportive of the Obama administration's education agenda; as governor, he oversaw the rollout of the state's $75 million Race to the Top grant and a $50 million early-learning grant.
The last time the Senate voted on a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was when it debated the No Child Left Behind Act back in 2001, meaning most current senators have never cast a vote on K-12 law.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan used the 50th anniversary of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act's passage to emphasize education's role in bolstering civil rights and access to opportunity.
The shift in the definition of "core academic subjects" appears to be something of a response to the years-old debate about NCLB's curriculum-narrowing effect.
So far, states haven't shown a ton of interest in trying out a new School Improvement Grant model that relies heavily on evidence.
The Senate education committee is slated to mark up the bill April 14 when lawmakers in both chambers will be back in Washington after a two-week recess.
Add one more unabashed foe of the Common Core State Standards to the list of Republican presidential candidates: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
The letter to members of Congress from the national organization and most of its state affiliates comes at a precarious time for lawmakers trying to overhaul the law.
Unions and civil rights groups are seeking to influence the legislative process in advance of Senate committee consideration of a bill to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act.
Among other things, sources say the version now being negotiated would not make Title I dollars for low-income students portable, and would maintain the current annual testing schedule.