Things have not been going well for Obama in 2010, but today he won a small victory. Starting next school year, teachers will instruct Kentucky’s public school students based on a common set of national academic standards, making Kentucky the first state to implement a streamlined definition of what all American students should learn in their English and math classes. This is a key tenet of the Obama administration’s education reform effort. Kentucky was one of forty-eight states working on the Common Core State Standards Initiative, an effort coordinated by the National Governors Association. Until now, every state has set its own academic standards and different lessons have been taught with varying degrees of intensity, leaving students in some states woefully unprepared for college and the workforce. But thanks to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan‘s urging and the allure of Race to the Top dollars, other states are expected to follow Kentucky’s lead in the coming months. If they do, the initiative could affect all of the nation’s 45 million public school children. To read more about the details of Kentucky’s decision, check out Catherine Gewertz’s piece in Education Week here.