Posted: Apr 23, 2014 11:19 AM by Russell Jones
Updated: Apr 23, 2014 3:30 PM
BATON ROUGE - A group of parents delivered a petition signed by thousands of people supporting Common Core educational standards to the state Capitol today.
The group hopes their signatures will dissuade legislators from delaying or even scrapping the new standards, which have drawn criticism from some in Louisiana.
Governor Bobby Jindal initially supported Common Core's reforms two years ago, but recently switched positions and began supporting lawmakers who sought to remove the state's affiliation with the reforms. Jindal also said earlier this month he would consider getting Louisiana out of the consortion of states developing Common Core, if the Legislature didn't do it first.
"There's no question we need to have high, rigorous standards to help our children compete with the rest of the world, but we should slow down and get it right," Jindal said in an emailed statement Wednesday.
Jindal's switch in position puts him at odds with state education Superintendent John White, who continued to support Common Core during this legislative session. Two bills to end Common Core reforms in Louisiana have already been rejected by the House Education Committee, but more are scheduled to be heard.
Common Core standards and an accompanying test called PARCC, or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam, are scheduled to be administered to students in grades 3 through 8 starting next year. Supporters say the higher Common Core standards are necessary for Louisiana, which ranks 44th in English and 46th in math, and that the state has been involved in developing the PARCC for several years at no cost to Louisiana. Critics have voiced concerns about using a single test for multiple states, and want to instead create new standards and a test specifically for Louisiana, something White told lawmakers could cost $20 million because educators would have to redo the work they've already done under Common Core.
During a conference call with the media Monday, Amy Deslatte with the Teacher Leader Advisory and an instructional strategist at Lafayette High School said teachers have been preparing for the transition to Common Core for three years and are in the final stretch before the PARCC tests begin next year.
"We, the educators of Louisiana, have been doing this work, and we want our Governor and legislators to acknowledge and respect the work we've done thus far and will continue to do," Deslatte said.