Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal Seeks Court Injunction Over PARCC

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is seeking a court injunction that would put an immediate stop to the state using any tests tied to the Common Core standards.

According to the governor’s office, the injunction is needed “because of the imminent risk of irreparable harm created by the unlawful exercise of federal control of education in Louisiana.”

Jindal claims the state’s agreement with Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is in violation of federal law because it tries to place too much control over the state’s education and testing.  Federal law states that the government cannot control educational curriculum within states.

Governor Jindal said, “Common Core began as an effort to simply raise standards for students, but it has morphed into a scheme to drive education curriculum from Washington, D.C.”

The Common Core standards, which were designed to be voluntary, are tested by states using individually created methods.  However, Jindal believes the government is using the PARCC testing in order to place federal control over states’ education, calling it a federal “scheme to drive education curriculum from Washington, D.C.”.

If a state decides to participate in PARCC, additional points are awarded that go toward Race to the Top monies, a federal program that awards innovations in education, as well as the No Child Left Behind waiver, reports Diana Samuels for website NOLA.

“Congress drew a bright red line that can’t be crossed and it clearly bars the federal government from ‘directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional material,’” Jindal said in the statement. “Implementing PARCC in Louisiana crosses the line because what’s tested is what’s taught.”

Jindal is also stating that the Board of Secondary and Elementary Education (BESE) violated state law when it gave consent for the state to use the PARCC testing without holding a competitive bid process first.  The governor is seeking to stop the use of PARCC within the state until the lawsuit is settled.

“If you control instructional materials and you control assessments and you control education products, you effectively control curriculum. That’s the underlying issue here,” Jimmy Faircloth, an attorney working with Jindal, said during a call with reporters Wednesday. “The PARCC platform is the implementing device of this federal program. And it’s built on the good intentions and the aspirations of Common Core.”

The board has responded to Jindal by filing a lawsuit against him, stating he acted unconstitutionally and he did not have the right to remove state education standards as well as testing methods, writes Allie Bidwell for US News.

The board is currently answering to another lawsuit by 17 state lawmakers, who do not believe they implemented the Common Core standards legally.  Jindal stated he supports the lawsuit.