No Child Left Behind, Bush's signature domestic policy achievement won congressional approval with bipartisan support. It requires annual testing, publication by districts of performance data of student subgroups, and increasingly tough consequences for schools that don't meet the bar.
But Congress never fully funded it, and 10 years later it's become synonymous with unrealistic expectations and an overemphasis on testing at the expense of other educational efforts.
Like No Child Left Behind, Common Core focuses on reading and math. However, its standards are voluntary and in effect in 44 states today.
Common Core standards lay out specific skills in reading and math that students should master by the end of each grade level. For instance: All third-graders should know how to find the perimeter of a shape. How the teacher pursues the goal is up to each school's curriculum.
President Barack Obama's administration embraced the standards early on, listing them in 2009 as acceptable for the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant program. The readiness of the standards and the availability of federal money in the midst of the economic downturn prompted most states to adopt Common Core. Some states, such as Virginia, didn't adopt them because they had already established their own similar standards.
When asked about his position on them this week, Paul referred to them as derived from the federal government. Former GOP Govs. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota have been advocates and assisted in the standards' drafting. Paul also implied the standards were mandatory, included specific teaching methods and covered more subjects.
"How we teach history, how we teach world civilizations, there's a lot of input of philosophy that goes into that. I would prefer it not come out of Washington," Paul told reporters when asked about his position on Common Core last week after visiting a private school in Chicago. "I would rather not see a national curriculum."