WASHINGTON (AP) - Loose ends and thorny partisan tensions on education await the next Congress during President Barack Obama's second term.

First up is the fiscal cliff, which will slash billions from the Education Department's budget if lawmakers don't act this year.

The administration isn't saying what its second-term agenda will entail, but education advocates say Obama will probably focus on early childhood programs and higher education.

Needing action are expiring student loan interest rates and long-term sustainability problems with Pell Grants.

Congress and Obama will also have to figure out what to do about No Child Left Behind. Obama has been granting waivers that give states flexibility on performance targets.

Obama's Race to the Top competition, teacher evaluations and the Common Core standards could also be flashpoints during Obama's second term.

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