Sen. Alexander is counting on transparency, not federally approved goals, to be the main lever for school improvement.
An Obama administration plan would ask the Federal Communications Commission to make potentially broad changes to the E-rate program, which provides tech support to schools.
A Senate Democratic bill to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act would require states set achievement and growth targets for students, but is unlikely to become law.
In a statement today, four groups representing school district leaders call for "adequate" time to manage the transition to the common core standards and tests.
The Council of Chief State School Officers says it needs flexibility from federal officials to manage the common core transition.
In their revised application, the nine California districts seeking a No Child Left Behind Act waiver dropped plans to count only the test scores from the last grade in each school for accountability purposes.
Florida's use of $1.25 million in Race to the Top funds to settle a contract dispute was allowable, according to federal officials.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., has introduced a bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Education and the education secretary from using federal grant money or waivers to encourage states to adopt common standards or tests.
Federally subsidized loan rates are set to double in just a month and a half unless lawmakers and the administration can come to an agreement.
The federal share of school spending is still well above where it was before the recession and the economic-stimulus package.