Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana says that he wants to withdraw his state from its Common Core Standards test consortium if the state legislature fails to do so on its own.
As Nola.com reports, eight members of the Louisiana state House sent a letter to Jindal on Monday asking him to overturn the agreement that makes Louisiana a member of the Partnership of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of the two multi-state consortia that was awarded Race to the Top (RttT) stimulus funds to develop assessments that are aligned with the centralized Common Core standards.
Jindal, who once supported Common Core and PARCC, now states he approves of his state’s withdrawal from PARCC and that he is hopeful Common Core opponents are successful in the legislature.
“We share the concerns of these [anti-Common Core] legislators and also of parents across Louisiana,” Jindal said in a statement. “We’re hopeful that legislation will move through the process this session that will address the concerns of parents or delay implementation until these concerns can be addressed.”
“We think this course of action outlined in the legislators’ letter remains a very viable option if the Legislature does not act,” Jindal said.
Louisiana adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 and the PARCC test, which is almost completed, was to begin being administered in 2015. Though the state has technically not formally committed to use the PARCC test, it would be assumed, as a member of the consortium, it would implement the measure.
Jindal’s decision to support grass-roots groups of parents who oppose the Common Core standards, the aligned assessments, and the collection of student data, is in contrast to that of Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education John White who, along with Common Core supporters, says the PARCC test is relatively affordable compared with the state developing its own test.
To date, the Louisiana legislature has not been successful in removing the state from the PARCC consortium. Two weeks ago, the governor supported the defeated bill that would have repealed the standards in Louisiana as well as the PARCC association.
At a hearing prior to the legislature’s vote, a group of corporate employers in the state testified in support of the Common Core standards and testing, stating they have difficulties finding qualified workers in Louisiana. Common Core, they say, will produce more skilled workers.
“I want you to know that today’s workforce is far more demanding than ever before,” said Ken Miller, an engineering services manager with ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge, a corporate champion of Common Core. “It is really difficult to find people locally for jobs.”
Though the Common Core repeal bill was defeated, a small group of lawmakers is intent on pressing the matter until the legislative session ends in June, and Jindal says he will be supporting them.