Louisana and Common Core Confusion

Amid relatively calm political waters, Louisiana formally adopted the Common Core July 1, 2010. Like as it is in the majority of states, the shift to the new standards went unopposed up until 2013. Suddenly, those that helped usher it in stood in staunch defiance against it. Most notably, Governor Bobby Jindal has been trying his hardest to apply pressure to have it removed altogether.

The Delay

The first bout of opposition occurred in 2013 when Superintendent of Education John White announced that the implementation, most notably how students and teachers were to be judged, would be delayed. This was followed up by a 10 year plan to make sure implementation was done correctly, based heavily on the call for more time by Louisiana educators.

As far as the students were concerned, the Core standardized test, PARCC, would only be given to students in grades 3 through 8 only, saving high schoolers from a dramatic change in schooling that could negatively affect them before college. While the wait was well received, many educators remained skeptical. They’d been complaining about the poor implementation since 2010 and were unsure if the delay would actually change things for the better or merely delay the inevitable.

The Confusion

A year later, in 2014, Jindal called for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as the Louisiana Legislature to completely replace the Common Core with a Louisiana option. This did nothing but throw the state back into confusion over the Core. Educators refused to do such a thing, seeing the standards as a chance for the less-than-stellar Louisiana educational system to finally reward its students with a meaningful curriculum. Jindal took the age old stance that the standards were a move to increase the government’s control.

News sources were quick to point out Jindal’s flip on the issue. While a staunch supporter back in the days of adoption, it wasn’t until a conservative outcry appeared that his stance switched. Because he sees himself as a presidential hopeful in the coming election, though many were surprised at his change of heart, none were confused as to why he did so.

The Lawsuit

Because of this, a group of teachers, parents and charter schools joined forces and filed a lawsuit against Jindal. They claimed his actions did nothing but sow discord all the while displaying his overstepping his bounds as Governor. The accusers were quick to point out the Core is to help the children, not further Jindal’s political motivations. While Jindal’s executive order to remove the Core ultimately failed in light of the Superintendent’s defiance, the plaintiffs saw to strip away further power from Jindal by preventing a delay he tried to cause with a test maker. Though torn about Common Core politically, this only serves to show that everyone outside of politics in Louisiana supports the promise the Core brings to the state.