BATON ROUGE, La. -- Four years after enthusiastically embracing the Common Core standards for Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal flatly rejected Wednesday.
“The federal government would like to assert control over our education system and rush implementation of a one size fits all set of standards that raises a lot of serious concerns,” Jindal said.
Critics of Common Core say it gives the federal government too much say over how and what we teach our children.
Parents like Debbie Sachs applaud the governor's move.
“I am so happy and I'm very excited that he's recognized that this is an initiative that's harmful to our children and our teachers.”
But supporters, including many business, civic and education groups, as well as BESE and the state superintendent of education argue Common Core will improve student achievement and better prepare kids for college and careers.
“This brings high-stakes testing to a whole new level because now you have the governor taking on the state board of education,” said Leslie Jacobs, who heads Educate Now, a non-profit dedicated to education reform, and was a former member of BESE and the Orleans Parish School Board.
Jacobs predicts the Common Court fight will wind up in court.
“I think BESE and the superintendent think these executive orders are pretty irrelevant,” Jacobs said.
Tuesday, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Jindal's about-face is politically motivated, as Jindal may seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
But Jindal said his reversal resulted from careful consideration.
“Why not listen to parents? Why not listen to teachers? Why not slow down? Why not develop Louisiana's own tests and our own standards?”
Jindal is now directing the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to do just that.