Common Core lawsuit from Jindal, lawmakers thrown out
BATON ROUGE - A judge threw out the lawsuit filed by Louisiana lawmakers and Governor Bobby Jindal which challenged the state's adoption of the Common Core education standards.
The lawsuit claimed education officials didn't properly follow state oversight and public notice laws when adopting the standards. Attorneys for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education argued any challenges should have been filed within two years after the standards were adopted in 2010. Judge Tim Kelley agreed, and dismissed the lawsuit on a technicality.
State Education Superintendent John White said Judge Tim Kelley's decision to dismiss the suit allows the state to move forward with adopting higher education standards for Louisiana's students.
"Five years ago, after review by hundreds of educators and Louisiana organizations, our state adopted higher expectations," White said. "For five years teachers, students, and parents in Louisiana prepared to compete on a level playing field with states across America. Two weeks ago, 99 percent of Louisiana students for the first time were provided that playing field."
Jindal initially supported Common Core's higher standards before joining national conservative opposition to the standards last summer. He took executive action to try and end the state's involvement in Common Core, which he called a federal takeover of the state's education system, and later filed suit against the U. S. Department of Education over Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind waivers tied to Common Core.
Today the governor said lawmakers planned to appeal the decision, and that he supported their efforts.
"The Administrative Procedures Act ensures that before agencies adopt rules and regulations, they get input from stakeholders and the public. BESE did not follow this public process before adopting Common Core. We are also pursuing legislation to make clear that public agencies must follow the APA before adopting rules and regulations," he said.
According to their website, the Common Core standards were developed by a coalition of volunteers from multiple states to create a common set of education goals that states could use to compare their progress with each other. Opponents of the standards criticized the PARCC test schools starting using in Louisiana this year to test students, and some anti-Common Core activists claimed at a BESE hearing it was influenced by the Saudi Arabian government and had a pro-Muslim bias in Common Core-aligned textbooks.
White said Monday opponents of Common Core were following an "extremist, political path" to try and derail five years' worth of work and money spent to adopt the standards.
"Today's court decision...is another validation that there is no academic or legal basis for the extremist path," he said. "Louisiana deserves a professional plan, not a political plan."
Students administered the PARCC exam two weeks ago. The state Department of Education said efforts through social media to get parents to opt their children out of the tests resulted in less than one percent of students across the state not taking the exam.