Judge denies request to stop Common Core
BATON ROUGE - A judge denied a request Friday for a temporary injunction to stop Common Core from being used in Louisiana classrooms.
Judge Tim Kelley denied the request by attorneys for 17 lawmakers who filed the suit, which claims the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education broke state law in its implementation of Common Core. Kelley said that halting Common Core now would unduly harm the status quo in Louisiana schools.
The decision means schools can continue with plans that have been in the works for the past four years to use the standards, which were developed by a group of states in order to compare student progress in different parts of the country. Schools are still in limbo about what test to use, since Governor Bobby Jindal took executive action to block the state's contract with the PARCC test.
""Today's ruling allows teachers and students to continue raising expectations in Louisiana," said Superintendent of Education John White. "Our students are just as smart and capable as any in America. We've been working for four years to teach them to the highest standards in our country. Today's ruling continues that progress."
The governor's recent objections to Common Core come after years of support for the measure, and have turned into a political struggle for who controls the course of education in Louisiana. In 2012 Jindal said Common Core "will raise expectations for every child," but reversed course this summer and joined national conservative opposition to the standards.
A judge allowed a second lawsuit filed by parents, educators, and charter school managers against Jindal to go forward earlier this week. They claimed Jindal overstepped his authority in his actions to stop Common Core from being implemented. BESE joined that suit, arguing that whatever was decided would ultimately affect them.
Louisiana agreed to adopt the Common Core standards in 2010, and have been folding the standards into the state's curriculum for the past four years with a goal of completing the implementation by the 2014-2015 school year. Jindal, a possible presidential contender, recently began echoing concerns voiced by the tea party against Common Core, calling it a federal takeover of state education despite its state-led inception and development. This summer he issued several executive orders to suspend the state's contract for the PARCC test, which is used by states adopting Common Core, and directed BESE and lawmakers to create a Louisiana-specific test and set of standards.
BESE opposed the withdrawal, saying Common Core was here to stay in Louisiana. They also dispute Jindal's claims that they broke state procurement laws when they secured the PARCC contract.