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Common Core controversy heats up

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Posted: Jun 26, 2014 4:52 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Jun 26, 2014 6:44 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Common Core, Controversy, Louisiana, John White, Bobby Jindal, WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- The controversy over the Common Core education standard is heating up, and several Board of Elementary and Secondary Education members have called for a meeting next week about the issue.

Last week, Governor Jindal announced plans to scrap Common Core for Louisiana. Jindal claims the State Department of Education violated state bid laws trying to implement Common Core. However, state education superintendent John White has moved full steam ahead with it.

A group of parents supporting Jindal's decision convened at the Capitol Thursday to meet with the governor.

"I have four children," Anna Arthurs said. "I'm opposed to Common Core for so many reasons. There's the material, data collection and federal intrusion."

The federal government does not govern Common Core standards, which are a state-led effort from the National Governor's Association.

BESE Member Lottie Beebe of Breaux Bridge also stands behind the governor's decision to get rid of Common Core.

"I have not been a political ally of Governor Jindal, but I will applaud him because he's recognized this is not in the best interest of Louisiana standards," Beebe said.

In an article on Politico this week, John White accused Jindal of violating student's civil rights with his attempts to remove the state from Common Core.

"It is high irony that people who support the civil right to choose a school don't support the civil right to have all students take the same test," White told Politico. "Lowering expectations comes in many forms."

Governor Jindal's Office released a statement calling White's accusations "silly."

"Under Louisiana law, the Louisiana Department of Education is required to issue an RFP (Request for Proposal) for an assessment, and the department has not done that. DOE needs to abide by Louisiana law, do its job, and issue an RFP."

As this debate simmers, all sides agree children are caught in the middle.

"That's politics," Beebe said. "I'm not getting into the fray with Superintendent White and Governor Jindal. I do embrace rigorous standards and educators have knowledge and expertise to develop Louisiana standards."

We requested an interview with John White but never heard back. The BESE Board will discuss other testing options in a meeting on Tuesday.

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