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K-12 testing, teacher quality and monitoring of the cost and quality of college will come into play.

Common Core implementation, teacher evaluation systems and new quality measures will continue to be central education issues in 2014.2013 was a big year for education.

President Barack Obama announced his plan to rate colleges based on quality and accountability measures, and to tie financial aid to their performance. Legislators reversed a doubling of student loan interest rates to keep the rates low for the time being – though some students are still unsatisfied with the deal. States across the country advanced with their implementation of the Common Core State Standards, much to the dismay of some parents. And American students continued to flatline on national and international tests.

But with two major education governance bills overdue for reauthorization, a full transition to the Common Core still on the way and an ever-expanding sphere of alternative routes to higher education, 2014 could be just as pivotal for education.

Here are a few issues to continue to watch in 2014:

1. Common Core implementation: As more states continue moving toward a full implementation of the Common Core State Standards, more parents, community members and politicians have begun to push back against what they claim are federally led, national academic standards.

Some opponents have say the standards bear similarities to the "one size fits all" education reforms from No Child Left Behind and worry that assessments aligned to the standards will perpetuate a culture of over-testing in the United States.

Others claim the standards are state-led in name only, and that support from the federal government – such as financial incentives through Race to the Top grants – pressured many of the 45 states and the District of Columbia to adopt the standards.

Aside from ideological pushback to the grade-level benchmarks for reading and mathematics, states have also struggled to work with colleges to implement the standards and face challenges in preparing teachers and staff to teach to the new standards, often times because they don't have the funds to do so. Although many states have already begun teaching content aligned to the standards, several said they don't have the funds and resources to properly train teachers.

[READ: Most States Not Ready for Common Core Standards]

In at least six states, fewer than half of the teachers had received some sort of professional development related to Common Core, according to an August report from George Washington University's Center on Education Policy. Additionally, six states said they had reduced or stopped buying computers and technology needed to administer Common Core assessments, four said they cut training for school staff to administer the tests, and three said they reduced or stopped professional development for teachers due to a lack of funding.

With a growing concern that many teachers may not be sufficiently trained to teach to the new standards, educators worry students will perform poorly on the Common Core-aligned assessments, which all states are expected to begin using in the 2014-15 school year.

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