Louisiana Parents Question Gov. Jindal's Sincerity on Common Core
Potential presidential hopeful Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) asserted Thursday night that he is “against the Common Core,” and that he doesn’t want Louisiana to participate in the nationalized standards. If what he says is true, then Louisiana parents want to know why Jindal decided not to veto the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) rule for the implementation of PARCC, the multistate assessment based on the Common Core standards, on Friday.
Jindal gave a rousing speech at the conservative Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans Thursday night, in which he received booming applause when he affirmed, “I don’t want Louisiana to be in the Common Core.”
During his address, Jindal likened federal overreach into education through the Common Core standards to similar intrusions into individual liberties through ObamaCare and gun control. His speech followed an op-ed in USA Today in April in which he again lambasted the Common Core as an intrusion by the federal government into the domain of parents to decide the best form of education for their children.
“If we get to the point where we are ignoring parents, we are making a big elitist mistake,” he wrote. “I have news for Washington: We can have rigorous standards without giving control to the federal government. Parents deserve a voice in this debate.”
Many Louisiana parents want to know if Jindal will be true to his word. After all, Jindal was for the Common Core standards before he was against them. Which Bobby Jindal should Louisiana parents believe?
Sara Wood, a parent and an attorney who is one of the organizers of the grassroots group of parents fighting to defeat the Common Core, has endured a plethora of meetings and state legislative hearings during which she and fellow parents were reportedly openly ridiculed by pro-Common Core special interest lobbyists.
Wood says she can’t trust Jindal’s word when he decided against a veto on the PARCC implementation bill.
“Gov. Jindal did not veto the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education rule for the implementation of PARCC yesterday and it was the last day under Louisiana's Administrative Procedures Act that he could have done that,” she told Breitbart News. “In my opinion, this would have had real effect toward having him remove us from this national assessment.”
“Had Gov. Jindal vetoed this bill, it would have been the best evidence under the time constraints to show that he truly is sincere in word and deed about removing Louisiana from Common Core,” Wood continued. “To my understanding, all that is left is an executive order that begs consideration of any legal effect, though it would have political effect in a positive way for Jindal.”
While the Common Core standards are still entrenched in Louisiana as the legislature prepares to end its session June 2, Jindal said Thursday that lawmakers may still have enough time to delay the measure “at the very least.”
Wood and other Louisiana parents are especially concerned about contentious language in the bill, HB953, that essentially will cement Louisiana with Common Core and PARCC.
The bill passed through our full Senate and there was an amendment by Sen. Crowe that attempted to remove the contentious language that we felt further cemented Louisiana to Common Core and PARCC and just left the heart of the bill relative to delaying accountability consequences intact. This amendment, in different fashion, was also attempted in the full House by Rep. Henry and also failed. But here you have Gov. Jindal sort of implying that he would view this "delay measure" as the legislature having done something this session. This to me is further proof that our governor really has no intention of getting us out of Common Core or PARCC or to prevent anything like this from happening in the future.
“While parents understand the need to protect our schools and teachers from undue consequences resulting from bad implementation,” Wood said, "we do not want this passed into law because of the language that further and more clearly binds us to national standards and national tests in the future.”
“HB953 will have this effect and I think that it was done on purpose and therefore, it will not be surprising when Gov. Jindal signs it,” she added.
“Gov. Jindal had drive and focus in bringing this mess to Louisiana,” Wood concluded. “Many things were put in place through a concerted effort led by him and when you compare that tenacity and focus to what we see related to his opposition of the Common Core, it makes you question the sincerity at a minimum followed by his motivation for doing so.”
Anna Arthurs, a physician and another Louisiana parent fighting to defeat the Common Core standards, agrees with Wood.
“There is a lot of concern as to the true intent of Gov. Jindal related to PARCC and Common Core,” Arthurs told Breitbart News. “Citizens are wondering if he really plans on getting Louisiana out of Common Core and PARCC, or if he is just trying to get support of both sides by stating that he wants to get us out while making sure that we stay in.”
Arthurs said that though 17 state legislators wrote a letter to Jindal on May 2nd, describing how the governor could exit the state from the PARCC Common Core test consortium through a provision in the Administrative Procedures Act, members of his administration still claimed that it would not be possible for him to do this.
In addition, though lawmakers and attorneys who reviewed HB953 and determined that the bill could codify into law Common Core and PARCC, Arthurs said Jindal’s staff again claimed that their attorney denied such concerns.
“If this bill becomes law and does bind us to both, will Jindal claim that he wanted to get us out but is now bound by law to keep us in?” Arthurs asks.