Guest post by Steven Baule, Superintendent at Muncie Community Schools, Indiana: As the US Department of Education’s future direction appears unclear, it does make sense to be aware of several of the potential contentious issues. EdWeek’s article about the legacy of the Obama Education Agenda is a good place to start. The Common Core State Standards seem to be of significant concern to many. The advantage of having most states using a similar curriculum base doesn’t seem to balance the desire by some for total “local control.” According to Truth in American Education, the assessment of non-cognitive attitudes, behaviors, etc. through school climate surveys probably should be reviewed. Illinois first attempt at this--The 5 Essentials System struggled significantly. One example of concerns raised came from suburban Chicago. There are concerns as well about a lack of parental opt-out provisions tied to mandated testing. Recent stories from PBS and Ohio show concerns about too much testing. In Indiana the concern that the ISTEP test was neither valid nor reliable has gone on for more than a year . Another area of potential change may be the reduction of the OCR’s dear colleague letters of which are all available on the OCR’s website. Betsy DeVos is on Twitter and there is a brief statement regarding the Common Core on her site as well. About the only thing we can probably count on is that it will not be business as usual for the U.S. Department of Education.