On Tuesday U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan criticized Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) who recently vetoed a controversial bill that would have bound his state further to the Common Core standards and the aligned PARCC testing.
On CBS News This Morning, Duncan said Jindal was motivated by his political ambitions and not what is best for children.
“Gov. Jindal was a passionate supporter before he was against it,” Duncan said. “That situation is about politics; it’s not about education. And frankly that’s part of the problem.”
In a statement to Breitbart News, Jindal responded:
We will not be bullied by the federal government. The proponents of Common Core claim it is not a federal takeover, but Secretary Duncan’s comments and actions prove otherwise. He has already threatened Oklahoma with a loss of funding, and we may be next. Our Founders came up with the Tenth Amendment for good reason, but the Obama Administration wants to keep ignoring it. We will not let President Obama and Secretary Duncan take over the education of Louisiana’s children.
Though Jindal once supported the Common Core standards, on Friday he said they would “take away local control and standardize our education system” and “would significantly impair parents’ ability to have clear information about the performance of their child’s school and teachers’ ability to have meaningful feedback.”
While Duncan repeatedly referred to the Common Core standards as being “higher” than other standards, the fact is that the Common Core standards have never been proved to be “rigorous,” and most standards experts agree that claim is invalid. Duncan blamed the increasing unpopularity of the nationalized standards on “implementation” in local school districts.
His statement that critics of Common Core need to “take politics out” of the debate ignores the fact that it was the Obama administration that overreached and introduced financial incentives and waivers from federal No Child Left Behind restrictions to states that adopted the standards.
Duncan’s statement that “We need to help all of our children be successful and we need to come together behind that” underscores the recent statement by primary Common Core financial sponsor Bill Gates, who confirmed that the standards initiative is a social engineering project that attempts to close the gap between “low-income” and “suburban kids.”