A Louisiana state judge has ruled that while a lawsuit in support of the Common Core standards, and against Governor Bobby Jindal, will be heard, Jindal cannot be questioned under oath.
A group of parents and teachers who stand in support of the standards filed the lawsuit against Jindal, claiming the governor is acting too quickly in his quest to remove the standards with no replacements in mind. The group argued that Jindal had suspended a contract to purchase testing materials using the standards, which violates the Louisiana Constitution.
“Too many people are making decision about the classrooms that have never even been in a classroom. I think it hurts students and it hurts teachers,” said Courtney Dumas, an Ascension Parish teacher who is part of the suit.
While thousands of parents across the state are showing support for Jindal through social media sites and various protests, Dumas believes there is confusion about what exactly is happening with the education process in the state.
“Some parents think this is the government, this is federal, they’re making us do this. They think it’s all political. It really is high standards that challenge students to think, and the teachers get the liberty of choosing the test,” said Dumas.
Jindal, who once stood in support of the standards, believes them to be a federal intrusion on the education process, which he says should be dealt with at a local and state level.
“I think the idea of standards is good, I just don’t like the idea of a one-size-fits-all approach from the federal government,” Jindal tells MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.
A second lawsuit that would have put an end to using Common Core standards in the state was also heard in Baton Rouge court this week and was denied. Judge Tim Kelley ruled against the lawsuit, claiming it would bring undue harm to students within the state who are beginning their school year.
A group of 17 state lawmakers filed the lawsuit, claiming the state Department of Education (DOE) and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) did not implement the new standards according to state laws.
According to the lawmakers, the BESE did not make the public fully aware of the “full text” of the standards prior to their implementation. State Superintendent John White testified that state law demands the DOE to establish standards approved by the BESE, and that therefore the “premise of their complaint is false.”
“Today’s ruling allows teachers and students to continue raising expectations in Louisiana. Our students are just as smart and capable as any in America. We’ve been working for four years to teach them to the highest standards in our country. Today’s ruling continues that progress,” White said in a statement after Kelley’s ruling.
The lawsuits create a state of uncertainty for the beginning of the school year within the state. For now, Common Core will remain in place while the lawsuits make their way through the court system, but the future remains unclear.