The volatile debate on how to revise Common Core is out of the Legislature but far from settled.
A committee of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday is set to approve 101 nominees to four panels that will spend weeks reviewing the new academic benchmarks.
Those recommendations will go to BESE and then — under new state laws — to the state House and Senate Education committees and the next governor for still more study.
The makeup of the review panels and the timetable for their work are set for discussion during a 9 a.m. meeting of BESE’s Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee.
The full board will vote on the nominees during a meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Officials of the state Department of Education released 92 nominees for the committees last month, with many being names submitted by school districts and education groups.
That list includes 57 school-based educators, 24 school district leaders, five officials of colleges and universities, and 15 education and parent advocates.
BESE will name nine more, including one from each of Louisiana’s six congressional districts.
A 26-member steering committee will oversee the work of three other panels that will do detailed reviews of reading, writing and math standards.
A 29-member panel will study what students from kindergarten through second grade need to know.
A 29-member group will grapple with what students in grades three through 12 should learn about English language arts.
And another panel — also 29 members — will review what students in grades three through 12 should know about math.
State Superintendent of Education John White, who backs Common Core, said he thinks BESE’s review of the nominees Tuesday will be mostly low-key because they trust the superintendents and school district officials who offered the names.
Scott Richard, executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association and a likely member of the steering committee, said that if Louisiana’s review is like those in other states, it will produce tweaks, not sweeping changes, in Common Core.
Richard said allowing more public input is important.
“So the opportunity to change, modify, adjust seems to be in place now,” he said.
Debbie Meaux, president of the Louisiana Association of Educators, which also has a seat on the steering and other committees, said the review timeline may be compressed to ensure that Common Core is only modified, not overhauled.
“I just don’t want to see anything rushed,” she said.
BESE in March directed the state Department of Education to craft a review plan.
The original timetable gave BESE until December 2016.
A new state law makes the deadline March 2016 and requires public hearings in all six congressional districts.
BESE has endorsed Common Core twice, and backers of the standards generally hold a 7-4 edge on the board.
Some board members, like their allies in the Legislature, hope the review committees are the beginning of the end for Common Core, especially if more opponents of the overhaul are elected to BESE this fall.
Backers of the standards say that if BESE remains pro-Common Core, the review of the standards will result in only modest changes.
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