It's morning meeting time. "When Dr. King was little, he learned a golden rule," sings a class of 4- and 5-year-olds with their teacher, Carolyn Barnhardt.

John Eaton Elementary School, a public school in Washington, D.C., is unusual. It sits in one of the District's wealthiest neighborhoods, but the majority of students hail from different parts of the city, making it one of the most racially and economically diverse elementary schools in the nation's capital.

The charter school movement is built on the premise that increased competition among schools will sort the wheat from the chaff.

It seems self-evident that parents, empowered by choice, will vote with their feet for academically stronger schools. As the argument goes, the overall effect should be to improve equity as well: Lower-income parents won't have to send their kids to an under-resourced and underperforming school just because it is the closest one to them geographically.

It's shaping up to be an interesting year for the Common Core, barely five years after 45 governors embraced it. A few states have already repealed the new math and reading standards. Others are pushing ahead with new tests, curriculum and teaching methods aligned to the Core.

And in some states, its future hangs in the balance. North Carolina is one of them.

It was one of the first states that quietly adopted the Common Core, and it moved quickly to put the standards in place.

Christopher C. Leonard / cc


Public education will top the list of priorities for Governor-elect Greg Abbott, currently the Texas attorney general, in the coming legislative session. But Wednesday, on TPR’s “The Source,” Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams said it was unclear if he would remain in his current post.


“I serve at the pleasure of the governor — and my term expires at noon, Jan. 20, and it will be the decision of the governor-elect on whether I stay or not. And we’ll allow him to make his decision,” said Williams.


Flickr user Bill Selak / cc

Governor-elect, Greg Abbott has touted education as one of his key areas when he takes the reigns next month. Texas ranks nearly last--46th out of 50--in per student spending on education, and dead last in the percentage of residents with a high school diploma.