Everyone is guessing who the next secretary of education will be. But one blogger has a useful reminder: Other positions may not be as high-profile, but they could be just as important.

For all the talk of how the already overdue reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act will present a major test for President-elect Obama, some are betting that the first education item on the new administration's to-do list will be expanding pre-K programs.

Just about anybody, if you believe what you read in the papers. It could be one of several governors, urban superintendents, Obama policy advisers, or even former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

A handful of President-elect Obama's education advisers have been appointed to his transition team, including Christopher Edley and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.

An important state-level contest affecting K-12 education is still undecided: the race for Washington State schools chief, where incumbent Terry Bergeson is trailing.

Two controversial ballot measures in Oregon look to be headed for defeat, and a third is too close to call right now. Voters rejected one effort to limit instruction in languages other than English and another to redirect school money toward law enforcement. A third measure, limiting payroll deductions for political spending, hasn't been decided.

Rep. Mark Udall, a Democrat, has claimed the open U.S. Senate seat in Colorado, defeating former Rep. Bob Schaffer, who was an ardent opponent of the No Child Left Behind Act's expansion of the federal role in education.

Voters gave their public schools what could be a $660 million annual gift when they approved a measure to open five gambling halls throughout the state. The ballot question was the largest gambling-for-school-funding measure on various state ballots around the country today.

At least three Democratic freshmen on the House Education and Labor Committee appeared headed to victory, according to CNN's projections. All three pulled out narrow victories in 2006 and were considered possible Republican targets earlier in the cycle.

Massachusetts voters turned down a proposal to repeal the state's income tax, which local governments and the state teachers union warned would threaten education in the Bay State.

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