Looking over the education section of the Washington Post, I came across 3 articles that are worth reading:
Jay Mathews, a hardcore advocate for bringing AP programs to disadvantaged students, takes on an AP critic: Me vs. smartest critic of AP in low-income schools. Good points on both sides, but there seems to be a chicken/egg argument going on. Take home message: Raising standards and supporting students is good, duh.
Jim Horn, an outspoken critic of KIPP (a program Mathews loves so much he wrote a book about), on why Obama's education plan won't work. His argument is more ideological than practical, which isn't to say he doesn't have a good point.
Dan Willingham gives us Part II on education reform. He argues that innovation should be left to states, while oversight will be up to the fed. Good idea, but that's harder to accomplish than it sounds. First, national assessment and evaluation program requires common standards, which states might argue against. Second, if money is the carrot, then states might stop taking that money in order to "buy" their educational freedom and head down a rogue education path (think Texas in 20 years).