BESE raises question: "Who's in charge" of Common Core in LA?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 7:39pm

The adoption of common core standards has been a hot topic for quite awhile now, but Governor Jindal's latest move has made it even hotter.

Just days ago Governor Jindal attempted to remove Louisiana from common core standards. The Governor wants the state to create it's own test to assess students, but the BESE board wants to continue following the common core standards that will help kids prepare for the PARCC test. now the issue at hand is exactly who has the power to make that decision.

Governor Jindal's new push to remove Louisiana from common core standards has sparked an intense debate- between those who agree with the BESE board and the implementation of common core and the PARCC test...

"This is something that the legislature was directed BESE to do," says Amanda Stenson, a mother in support of common core.

...And those who support Governor Jindal and the creation of a new test by the state.

"We're excited about the governor's decision now to pull back from PARCC and get our own test," says Kathryn Goppelt, a mother against common core.

BESE called a special meeting Tuesday to help unravel the mess that has become common core.

"It is very complicated in terms of how to do we unwind and determine what steps to take next," says BESE member Chas Roemer.

The board wasn't there to discuss whether or not the standards should remain...

"It's to a legal question about government, about the operations of government. It's not a question about the validity of the common core standards or the PARCC test or anything like that," adds state Education Superintendent John White.

...But to discuss who is legally responsible for deciding which standards will be followed- the BESE board or the governor.

"We don't know who within government is the decision maker on a set of issues that though they're not immediately classroom issues they end up affecting the classroom."

If this issue isn't solved quickly educational standards will be caught in limbo.

"If this confusing legal question isn't resolved, in our opinion, we won't be able to proceed with a plan A, a plan B, or a plan C or any other plan."

Something parents are not happy about.

"What are teachers going to do? What is going to happen in the classroom? If we don't know what the standards are how do we educate our children to meet them."

The decision will likely be resolved in the court of law, with supporters of Governor Jindal on one side.

"I think it's an encouraging move in the right direction."

And those in favor of BESE on the other.

"He needs to spend time governing the state of Louisiana and not worrying about his path to the White House. Worry about my children's path to college."

In a discussion that now leaves teachers, parents, and kids stuck in the middle.

"I'm hoping for a speedy resolution. I'm hoping that if it takes going to court then i think we need to press forward, get some resolution and get some clarity here."

Superintendent John White asked BESE to consider hiring legal representation to challenge Governor Bobby Jindal's authority on this issue in court.


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