Louisiana Governor Dumps Common Core; Bureaucrats Fight Back

By:  Alex Newman
06/19/2014
       
Louisiana Governor Dumps Common Core; Bureaucrats Fight Back

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued executive orders aiming to remove the Obama administration-pushed Common Core education standards from the state’s government schools, drawing widespread applause from teachers, parents, taxpayers, and activists across the political spectrum.

The orders seek to quash the school nationalization scheme in Louisiana by withdrawing from the federally funded national testing regime aligned with Common Core, a deeply controversial and expensive assessment that the Republican governor said was adopted in violation of state law. Education bureaucrats, though, are fighting back.

If successful, the governor’s orders and announcement would make Louisiana the fourth state this year to formally withdraw from what critics now deride as “ObamaCore” and even “CommieCore.” In March, Indiana became the first state to officially dump the controversial scheme after first adopting it, but education experts noted that the supposedly “new” standards were largely copied and pasted from Common Core. In recent weeks, South Carolina and Oklahoma both adopted laws withdrawing from the Obama-backed nationalization of education as well. Several other states never joined.

In Louisiana, as across America, the pressure on state officials to dump Common Core has been growing quickly as awareness spreads. Responding to a wide range of concerns about the standards — federal involvement, dubious quality, lack of public input, and more — Gov. Jindal announced his plan to withdraw on June 18. “This gets us out of the Common Core,” he said. He wants lawmakers and state officials to develop new, superior standards and assessments for Louisiana rather than using the deeply controversial Common Core pushed by Obama and financed by population-control zealot Bill Gates.

“We’re very alarmed about choice and local control of curriculum being taken away from our parents and educators,” Gov. Jindal said at a press conference announcing the decision. “If other states want to allow the federal government to dictate to them, they have every right to make that choice.” Proponents of Common Core, he added, were not up front about federal involvement in the standards and the accompanying federally funded national testing regime known as “Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers,” or PARCC. Louisiana has now withdrawn from the tests, which analysts say are crucial to the whole plot.

It is time to ditch the Common Core standards as well, Jindal continued, saying “we want them out of our state.” While he previously supported the scheme, Jindal suggested that understanding the facts made him reconsider. “Now that we understand the federal overreach involved, we need to slow down and make the right decision,” he said. “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.”

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Photo of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

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