I have a new piece up at Slate about how the Tea Party-Christian conservative mind meld on education–anti-standards, pro-homeschooling, pro-culture war meddling with curriculum–has become more and more mainstream within the Republican Party. The trend is epitomized by figures like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, who have both made protest against the federal role in school reform a cornerstrone of their political careers.
I didn't have space to get to this in the Slate piece, but there are two other major things happening right now within the GOP on education. First, House Republicans would like to allow school districts to redirect Title I funding, which is intended to serve low-income students, to other programs and less needy populations. Second, at the state level, Republican governors are rediscovering the issue of private school vouchers.