School turnarounds and new policies for school meal programs were among the issues highlighted at urban educators' annual legislative conference in Washington.
Even states that won multimillion Race to the Top grants are having trouble supporting foundering schools.
Negotiations have restarted on the Education Sciences Reform Act, a child-care bill sailed through the Senate, and a bipartisan charter school bill is in the works.
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, said recently that he will be pouring new energy into a perennial priority: Bolstering funding for special education.
Overall, states have made great progress in a short amount of time, but there have been bumps in the road, according to a report by the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington.
The new U.S. Department of Education civil rights data collection show stark disparities among disadvantaged students in everything from discipline to advanced course-taking.
One month after approving a similar, though more limited, waiver for a district in Kansas, the U.S. Department of Education rejects a testing proposal from a South Carolina district.
In releasing the latest progress reports on the $4 billion Race to the Top contest, the U.S. Secretary of Education says Delaware, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Tennessee lead the pack.
Washington state may provide the U.S. Department of Education with its first test case of the fallout if a state loses its No Child Left Behind Act waiver.
Duncan urged state officials to be patient and to "overcommunicate" with the public during the transition to the new standards and new tests.