Happy (almost) New Year to our loyal Politics K-12 readers!
Every year we compile a list of our most popular blog posts. The year’s winners included the hotly debated Common Core State Standards, the midterm election results, and teachers lunching with the president.
And so, without further ado, here are our most-read stories of the year:
10. That time GOP lawmakers couldn’t stop introducing bills anti-common-core bills.
9. That time President Barack Obama pitched a new round of Race to the Top funding meant to close achievement gaps in his fiscal 2014 budget request.
8. That time Washington state became the first to lose its No Child Left Behind Act waiver for not including student test scores in teacher evaluations. Ouch!
7. That time a group of Republican senators got together to say they don’t want any federal money going to states in exchange for adopting certain academic standards, including the common core.
6. That time, during a House appropriations subcommittee hearing, when it finally became obvious that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was distancing himself from the common core.
5. That time Obama gave a State of the Union speech in which education policy was the star of a broad strategy to bolster economic mobility and combat poverty.
4. That time Republicans, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., trounced Democrats in the midterm elections and stole control of the Senate in the process.
3. That time four teachers— all of whom have spent at least a decade teaching at high-need schools—sat down with the presidentover a lunch of grilled salmon with green peas to talk about education policy.
2. That time Senate Democrats and House Republicans brokered a $1.1 trillion spending bill that largely restored the sequestration cuts to federal education programs and included a $1 billion boost for Head Start. Losers in the budget battle included two of the Obama administration biggest priorities for the year: Race to the Top for higher education and a new grant program to help states improve their preschool programs.
1. That time the U.S. Department of Education unveiled its 50-state teacher equity strategy, which was an effort to ensure that poor and minority students get access to as many great teachers as their more advantaged peers—a requirement of the NCLB law that’s gone largely unenforced.