The short answer to that question might be, not much. The Obama administration has embraced education reforms that are also favored by many conservatives, most particularly charter schools and overhauling how teachers are evaluated and paid. So if Republicans sweep the House today and grab the Senate, too, the direction that education policy has been headed for the past two years may not shift dramatically. In fact, it could become more of a priority as one issue where the Obama administration and Republicans can find some common ground.
That said, others have argued that Obama’s education reform agenda may not be so safe. For one thing, points out Andrew Kelly (writing on the Rick Hess Straight Up blog), as many as 28 Republican candidates have advocated eliminating the U.S. Department of Education in their campaigns. If elected — and Kelly thinks many of the 28 will be — these folks are probably not going to be allies as the Obama administration starts the process of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (known as NCLB under President George W. Bush) next year. It’s also unlikely they’ll jump to support a second Race to the Top contest, to say the least.