Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wants to get rid of the Common Core system and the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests that go along with it. Certain lawmakers lent their support by writing the governor a letter stating their position to scrap the PARCC test, according to an article written by Julie O’Donoghue for website NOLA.
The Common Core set of standards was put into place by the federal government so that states would all be at the same education level per grade level. Therefore, if a child moved from one state to another, they would not be behind, or ahead of, their classmates. It also is meant to help students prepare for college, should they wish to go, or for a career. The PARCC test gauges where a student is as far as their readiness for life after high school is concerned.
Common Core also helps states see where they stand in the rankings against other states. Forty-five of the fifty states have adopted the Common Core system and PARCC test, and the federal government has granted extra education money to states who take on the Common Core.
So why does Jindal want to do away with it? Opponents of the Common Core and PARCC state that the federal government is getting too much into the states’ affairs, reports O’Donoghue.
They claim that only the states should tackle their educational systems. Louisiana opponents say that since other states’ opinions went into the formulation of the Common Core system and PARCC test that it does not necessarily reflect Louisiana’s own values.
Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education John White disagrees with the governor and his supporters. According to an article written by Will Sentell for The Advocate, White claims that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) regulations are the same as the 2012 state law.
Jindal and his supporters are attempting an “end run” to keep the state from buying PARCC tests after lashing out in their anti-PARCC efforts in the Legislature, said White. Repeated outcry against PARCC and Common Core exams is also stirring up issues for educators.
State school board president Chas Roemer, who usually sides with the governor, criticized Jindal for threatening to use his executive veto power against the PARCC test if the legislation is pushed through.
“I don’t recall that ever happening … where a governor overrode or vetoed [school board] regulations,” Roemer said. “This is a maneuver that’s outside of the Legislative process. It is the same kind of maneuver that he attacked President Obama for doing.”
Governor Jindal has other opponents, including Shreveport Advocate columnist Peter Watson, who states:
“Common Core is a much-needed, long-overdue step forward in our nation’s approach to education. For the first time, we will have a uniform set of standards in 45 states. For the first time, we will be able to measure student progress nationwide because students will be required to have a certain level of knowledge by the time they reach certain grade levels. Common Core will eliminate forever the problem of students moving from one state to another and finding themselves either ahead of, or behind their classmates. With Common Core, students everywhere will be learning the same thing at the same time.”