Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave a speech in Washington in which he announced his plan to strengthen the national education system through a focus on the expansion of school choice options and a takedown of the Common Core standards that have been adopted by most states across the country.
He previously discussed issues including repealing and replacing Obamacare and adopting a stronger foreign policy that would stop the nuclear program in Iran.
However, Jindal has decided to focus on education, hoping to gain more support from conservatives. This includes a movement against the Common Core, which Jindal argues create federal intrusion in local education issues, writes Seth McLaughlin for The Washington Times.
“Perhaps no better example of … unrepresentative government exists in education than Common Core national curriculum mandates,” Jindal’s report states.
Jindal went on to say that supporters of the Common Core are standing against parents who want to be more involved in their child’s education.
“I come down on the side of trusting local parents, local teachers and local officials — trusting competition, not thinking it is better to have an unelected elite, a group of bureaucrats in D.C., making these decision for us,” said the governor, who is now pushing to stop the standards in Louisiana.
Jindal was previously a supporter of Common Core, which he instituted in 2010 in Louisiana, and remained a supporter until as recently as 2012. Once the issue became a hot topic among conservatives he quickly changed his viewpoint and has since been working to dismantle the standards in the state. He recently began to suggest that parents opt out of the required testing for the program.
Jindal has sued the Obama administration, arguing that the federal government had unconstitutionally forced the standards onto states through promises of federal education funding.
The standards are frequentlly criticized by conservatives. A June NBC poll found 58% of Tea Party Republicans oppose Common Core in comparison to 31% of the general public. A Gallup poll from September found similar results, with 58% of Republicans holding a negative view of the standards compared to just 23% of Democrats.
“The question is: Do you trust bureaucrats or do you trust parents? I trust parents,” Jindal told reporters Monday morning.
Not all Republicans oppose the standards, though. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is also a Republican presidential candidate, has publicly announced his support for Common Core over the last few years, writes Leigh Ann Caldwell for NBC News.
Meanwhile, Reed Galen, former Deputy Campaign Manager for John McCain in 2008, said he believes Jindal is only focusing on the standards not because he cares, but because he wants to win.
“I can only assume he’s using Common Core because he sees that as the best to hit Jeb over the head and put himself in that small government (group) that he believes appeals to Republican primary voters,” Galen said.