The words are a lot different from the governor’s speech at the RedState Gathering from last year, but things do change in politics.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has defied his state Legislature and state Superintendent of Education John White by issuing executive orders today to withdraw from the Common Core state standards and a federally funded Common Core testing group.
Jindal also instructed the state Legislature to develop its own set of standards next legislative session to replace the Common Core.
We’re very alarmed about choice and local control of curriculum being taken away from our parents and educators,” he said at a press conference. “If other states want to allow the federal government to dictate to them, they have every right to make that choice.”
Jindal, a likely presidential contender in 2016, was once a staunch supporter of the standards. But he has changed his mind amidst mounting opposition and tea party push back.
Critics, including U.S. Department of Education officials, call the move “politically motivated,” although I’d like to know what decisions by politicians aren’t.
Right now, the state’s Department of Education and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education say that the state is legally obligated to continue implementing the measures, according to a press release fired off not too long after the Jindal announcement.
The plan to continue implementation fulfills BESE’s legal role and obligations. Under the Louisiana State Constitution, BESE “shall supervise and control the public elementary and secondary schools and special schools under its jurisdiction and shall have budgetary responsibility for all funds appropriated or allocated by the state for those schools, all as provided by law.”
“For years, the law has required that BESE measure literacy and math achievement,” said BESE President Chas Roemer. “Four years ago, our board committed to measuring learning in comparison with states across the country, and two years ago the Legislature put this plan into the law. BESE is continuing to implement that law.”
“State and federal law have long required that Louisiana measure literacy and math performance through standards and annual tests,” said State Superintendent John White. “By using test forms and questions that make results comparable among states, we are following the Legislature’s mandate that we not only measure but also compete.”
More on this as it develops.