A school advocacy group, 50CAN, wants to expand nationally; the organization is one of several education interest groups that are playing an aggressive role in shaping state policy.

Supporters of a new Ohio law that puts limits on collective bargaining tout its creation of a merit-pay system for teachers, in a new ad in advance of a repeal vote next month.

Dennis Van Roeke,l of the National Education Association, and Randi Weingarten, of the American Federation of Teachers, say a law that requires schools to check students' immigration status at enrollment is unfair and unnecessary.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called himself an ally of President Obama on education, in contrast to White House contenders such as Rick Perry.

Iowa's Republican governor, Terry Branstad, proposes a new, four-tier pay system for teachers, merit pay, and annual evaluation of educators.

The chief of staff for Oklahoma's department of education calls school administrators suing to block a voucher program "dirtbags" in a tweet sent out last month.

Jason Glass, director of education for the state of Iowa, faces an ethics complaint over a trip to Brazil that he and other state schools chiefs took, paid for by the foundation of Pearson, the publisher.

In his third annual "back-to-school" speech, President Obama urged students to continue their education after high school, saying the changing workplace demands it.

Speculation persists that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could jump into the presidential race. The Republican governor has praised some of President Obama's education policies, and battled with the leading teachers' union in his state.

The common core standards will pose a major challenge for schools and teachers, but education publishers will also have to develop much better products to meet the standards' new demands, school district officials say.


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