Posted: Jun 18, 2014 10:54 AM by Brock Sues, Russell Jones
Updated: Jun 18, 2014 1:26 PM
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal said today he's taken several actions designed to remove Common Core educational standards from the state and its associated PARCC assessment test.
"It's no secret that I'm opposed to the Common Core," Jindal said as he got to the podium. "We need Louisiana standards for Louisiana students."
Jindal said he sent PARCC a letter announcing his intent to withdraw the assessment from Louisiana, and called on BESE to come up with a "better plan" to bring to the Legislature.
Jindal frequently criticized what he said was "federal control" of the state's education, though the federal government is not involved in the implementation or creation of the program. Common Core originated from the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in 2008. President Obama's "Race to the Top" initiative did provide some incentive for states to adopt Common Core, since states which adopted Common Core had a better chance at getting federal grant money.
The governor also claimed the four-year implementation process the state has undertaken so far was "rushed," and that the state needed to "slow down and make the right decision for our kids." He also claimed the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education did not follow Louisiana's competitive bid law in using the standards, and said he issued orders to make them do so.
On Tuesday, U.S. Education Secretary Anne Duncan attacked the governor's recent switch from support to opposition of Common Core as being politically-driven. Jindal acknowledged today that he originally supported the education standards, but did not go into specifics about his switch to join growing conservative opposition except to blame the federal government and say he did not want a "one size fits all" education standard in Louisiana.
Republicans remain divided on Common Core with the majority of the opposition coming from tea party organizations. Several business groups have joined in support of Common Core, including the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White also supported the standards and defended them during the recent legislative session, where lawmakers chose not to take action to end Common Core.
More than 40 states have adopted or begun adopting the Common Core standards since 2011. Since then South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Indiana have since chosen to back out of the program.