While federal lawmakers are considering proposals to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it remains unclear whether there is enough momentum to support a reauthorized law. At issue, observers say, is that the contentious political climate leaves the players, including President Barack Obama's administration, with little incentive or hope for a satisfactory resolution. "I'd prefer to fix the law and fix it for the country, but again you need partners. It takes two to tango," said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

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