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G.O.P. Hopefuls Display Differences on Education

Education has been a divisive issue for Republicans, and the differences were on full display as the presidential contenders vied to prove how small a role they would permit the federal government to play in public schools.

The candidates performed a balancing act as they tried to embrace high standards for schoolchildren while shying away from the Common Core, education guidelines that have become intensely controversial among conservatives, parents and teachers.