Posted: May 5, 2014 5:23 PM by Jason Newton
Updated: May 5, 2014 5:31 PM
BATON ROUGE - State education leaders left the Capitol Monday celebrating a victory over another bill that would affect the controversial Common Core testing standards.
State Superintendent of Education John White was once again at the Capitol defending the state's adoption of the Common Core.
"When teachers have already gone home and we have no test sitting on the shelf somewhere," White said, "that's a situation that has never confronted the state agency before."
Opponents fought hard against House Bill 380, calling it an effort to get rid of the PARCC testing that is part of the Common Core Standards adopted by the state.
"All this does, it's very simple, if we do a national assessment...to come to a joint legislative committee to get questions answered," State Rep. Brett Geymann (R-Lake Charles) said.
Geymann authored the bill that would require legislative approval for the funding of any national assessment test --like PARCC-- given to students.
"All we're asking for is financial oversight," Geymann said. " We've been fighting that battle for years on the committee to have oversight and do a better job spending money."
Some skeptical committee members mentioned money and time already spent preparing for the PARCC tests.
"They have spent millions in districts across the state to prepare," said committee member Rep. Patricia Smith (D-Baton Rouge). "If that is gone, they spent that money useless."
In the end more legislators agreed with White and his concerns about sending teachers home for the summer without them knowing what to expect for next year's testing.
"Every year, 3rd through 8th grade teachers go home knowing that they can plan, get ready for (tests) and kids will be ready because they've had that consistency," White said.
The Common Core standards were adopted four years ago by the state as a way to compare Louisiana students to other students across the country. HB 380 was defeated by a vote of 12-10.