Common Core was like selling quantum mechanics.  It would require a full fleet of advocates that were spread across the nation, harping its values while keeping dissent from being published….

Syria and the NSA and the Budget Deficit and Debt Ceiling crises have changed those dynamics.  There is not enough of a sales team to shock and awe the people over Common Core.  The one word defining Common Core to the vast majority of Americans is………….  “huh?”

Educations Week called it today…

“U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan faces an increasingly rocky education policy landscape and wavering support for his aggressive K-12 agenda—at a time when his stack of bargaining chips is dwindling.”

“That’s likely to leave him even more dependent on sanctions and persuasion in the administration’s final three years.”

“As Mr. Duncan’s second-term strategy unfolds, some states and their schools chiefs are balking. At least four states are fighting with the Education Department over their waivers, Georgia plans to appeal a federal decision to withhold a small portion of its Race to the Top award, and California continues to test the bounds of what it can and can’t do on school accountability under federal law.”

The crumbs are falling from the too-high table…..

Three NCLB waiver states—Kansas, Oregon, and Washington—are on “high risk” status for failing to comply with federal conditions placed on their waivers.

Arizona is refusing to budge on federal demands over its waiver involving graduation rates and teacher evaluations.

California tried to devise its own approach to testing students in light of the transition to the common core, and Mr. Duncan told the state in very clear terms that its way—not testing every student in math and reading—was unacceptable.

Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed a bill that suspends accountability testing for a year as the state transitions to the new common tests, setting up a confrontation with federal officials.

Among Race to the Top states, Hawaii’s $75 million grant was placed on high-risk status over problems with carrying out its teacher-evaluation system.

Georgia is in worse trouble over Race to the Top. Federal officials are taking steps to revoke nearly $10 million from the state’s $400 million grant after the state decided it could not implement its performance-based pay plan during the 2013-14 school year as it had promised. Georgia is planning to appeal.

Many policy experts doubt Mr. Duncan will go much further in enforcement, which could give states more leverage to do what they want.

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