Bobby Jindal Unveils Plan to Eliminate Common Core in Louisiana

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) unveiled a plan Wednesday that purports to eliminate the Common Core standards from his state.

press release from Jindal’s office states the plan involves legislation that will allow for a new process involving a committee of parents, teachers, and school leaders to adopt education standards. Until such legislation is passed, Jindal wants public schools to use grade-level expectations from 2004-2005 and the older LEAP and iLEAP assessments to measure student achievement.

Additionally, Jindal said he will support legislation that restricts the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) from entering into contracts, Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), and Cooperative Endeavor Agreements (CEAs) with third parties and the federal government, such as the ones BESE and the state Department of Education made with the federally funded Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC), the interstate consortium that is creating tests aligned with the Common Core standards.

Louisiana students began taking the PARCC tests on Monday.

The release states that, in addition to replacing the PARCC test, the governor’s plan will also “prohibit the collection of biometric information from students, and ensure that BESE, like all state agencies, is subject to the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).”

“This legislation will help us get Common Core out of Louisiana once and for all,” Jindal said in a statement. “We will not accept this one-sized-fits-all approach to our children’s education. The package of legislation will make clear that the federal government or third parties do not have control over Louisiana’s schools, and help ensure that Louisiana parents and teachers create Louisiana standards and curriculum.”

The statement indicates that, currently, “No standards adoption or review process exists … to circumvent the public process, as the Board did when they adopted Common Core as ‘guidelines’ in 2010 and failed to promulgate the standards through the APA rulemaking process.”

The governor’s office continues:

Under the new adoption process, every elected official involved in education (including the Legislature, school board members and BESE members) will vote on the draft standards and give parents the opportunity to weigh in and express their concerns. Ultimately, the standards will be approved by majority vote of both houses of the Legislature through an up or down vote with recommendations sent to BESE for amendments.

Jindal’s office also stated that “no state or public funds may be spent on any contract, MOU, CEA, or waiver agreement entered into by a public education body in Louisiana that constitutes a shift in policy in response to the federal regulation or financial incentives from the federal government, unless expressly provided for in law.”

As Breitbart News reported last August, a Louisiana district judge lifted Jindal’s suspension of the contracts BESE entered into with PARCC via executive order.

In his ruling on the plaintiffs’ petition for preliminary injunction, Judge Todd Hernandez asserted there existed a “preponderance of the evidence” that the governor’s plan to exit his state from the Common Core standards and their aligned tests would cause “irreparable harm” to students, teachers, administrators, and parents who have been preparing for implementation of the standards for several years.

Hernandez’s ruling, which is now being appealed, came in a case brought against the Jindal administration by the charter school foundation, Black Alliance for Education Options (BAEO), which argued that Jindal’s executive order was illegal. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) later joined the lawsuit against Jindal, as well.

A U.S. District Court judge recently ruled Jindal’s case against the Obama administration’s alleged federal overreach regarding luring states into adoption of the Common Core standards has standing and may proceed.


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