The problem with Gov. Bobby Jindal and Common Core is not just in the governor’s abandonment of his earlier position but in his misdiagnosis of the problems facing Louisiana education in the future.
We can’t go back, governor. And we shouldn’t.
Jindal on Wednesday rehashed his opposition to the new academic standards he formerly espoused for Louisiana students. A trio of bills, some challenging the constitutional authority of the state education board, will be part of the 2015 Legislature’s agenda.
Jindal’s proposals bear the taint of hypocrisy.
Leave aside his own administration’s unremitting hostility to openness in his own office and many other areas of government. He now bases some of his Common Core legislative goals on requiring more openness on the part of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, where the Louisiana Constitution places authority for educational standards and operations.
BESE’s moves toward adoption of Common Core standards were hardly a secret. Jindal’s own public statements of support then are part of the public record, if apparently politically embarrassing today for the potential presidential candidate.
If there are ways that encourage more openness in the adoption of new standards or other decisions, we’re all for that.
Our suspicion is that this is only a stalking horse for Jindal to overstep his bounds into BESE authority, amid unjustified assertions of U.S. government control of Common Core standards.
If Jindal wants to stand in the schoolhouse door against the federal government, he can, but the Common Core standards don’t come anywhere close to the governor’s description of them as a plot.
Under long-existing law, the state was scheduled to reassess its accountability testing in 2017. Superintendent of Education John White and BESE members have signaled their willingness to start that process of consultation early.
This is in part a response to political pressure, but so long as it represents a genuinely dispassionate look at tests and standards, it should not be troublesome.
Jindal’s view is out of touch. As part of his legislative strategy, he proposed reverting back to 2004 tests with new questions instead of those on Common Core tests — based on a long process of input from teachers and experts.
Leave aside the question of how Louisiana is smarter than anyone else at doing the same thing but somehow differently. Louisiana’s dismal standing in national educational assessments can be improved by doing what we did 10 years ago?
If the governor is honest about “high-quality Louisiana standards” in schools, he’d embrace Common Core, not political opportunism.