One of the primary assumptions of the author with respect to education policy is that any individual policies or initiatives, such as those enumerated in Race to the Top agenda and the state laws designed to win the proffered federal money, are addressed to perceived shortcomings in one or more aspects of the operation of the national education system. There are multiple and occasionally conflicting concepts of 'teaching' and 'learning' at work in the discourse around education reform. In June 2009, Arne Duncan spoke to the attendees of the Institute of Education Sciences's fourth annual research conference on the importance of achievement data to education research. He also addressed the 2009 Governors Education Symposium on the topic and function of what would later come to be known as the Common Core standards. The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) provides an overview of the steps taken by individual states to address Race to the Top's reforms in the period 2009-2011.