Bill delaying shift to Common Core nears passage
BATON ROUGE - An effort to delay the consequences of Louisiana's shift to Common Core education standards for one year longer than state education board policy is nearing final legislative passage.
The Senate Education Committee voted 3-1 Thursday to advance the proposal by Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, to the full Senate for debate. The House already has passed the measure.
If passed, the proposal would mean that public school letter grades, teacher evaluations and student promotion wouldn't be affected by the standardized testing associated with Common Core until the 2016-17 school year. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education had delayed the implementation until the 2015-16 year.
Leger said the state should provide another year to make sure teachers and students adjust to the tougher standards before their achievement is graded.
Common Core opponents asked senators to kill the bill, saying it was designed to solidify Louisiana's use of the education standards.
"This bill gives the illusion that things are going to be OK and you're going to be given time to adapt. But what you'll be adapting to is a sinking ship. This bill will tie us to Common Core," said Casey Peltier, a parent from New Iberia.
Leger disagreed, saying Louisiana's use of Common Core was cemented years ago.
"That has happened. It is a done deal," he said.
Only Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas, voted against the measure.