Everything seems upside-down in education policy right now. Ideas that were controversial a decade ago, such as expanded use of charter schools and vouchers, have gained broader acceptance. An idea that was widely embraced a few years ago — that all students should master a roster of more-demanding skills, known as the Common Core — has become one of the most contentious issues in education. Politicians from President Obama on down want more Americans to receive education and training beyond high school, but funding for higher education has declined steeply in recent years. Nearly everyone in Congress, meanwhile, is unhappy with the No Child Left Behind Act, the main federal law governing education. However, the House and Senate are moving in different directions, meaning that the status quo likely will not change.