Rokita sought to slim down the U.S. Department of Education and to allow states to opt out of federal K-12 programs.
Education programs are spared the prospect of the largest across-the-board cuts in history, but only temporarily.
School districts and states are bracing for the possibility of the biggest cut in federal education aid in recent history.
A list of stories that you probably won't see on this blog next year.
NCLB waivers, the presidential election, and the Race to the Top competition were big stories this year.
Key federal K-12 programs are likely to be cut by 8.2 percent at the beginning of the new year, although most school districts won't feel the pain until next September.
The denial of the waiver request means the most populous state in the country, with the biggest congressional delegation, will be stuck with the No Child Left Behind as it is.
Putting armed security personnel in schools is the "only proven" way to protect students from would-be killers, says Wayne R. LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's CEO.
In his first public appearance since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on the nation to tighten gun control laws, improve access to mental health, and curb the glorification of violence in movies and video games.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who had a shot at the job, will stay on as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.