The educator leading Louisiana’s review of Common Core said her views on the highly charged academic standards are irrelevant.
“My opinion, one way or another, is of no value to the work that we are going to do,” said Regina Sanford, chairwoman of the 26-member Standards Committee that will lead the hearings.
“It truly needs to be about what is best for Louisiana,” Sanford told reporters.
Sanford’s committee, plus three subcommittees, will launch the first of six public hearings statewide at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Baton Rouge.
The sessions stem from action by the Legislature and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The panels will hear testimony and make recommendations to BESE, which will then adopt its own suggestions on how the academic benchmarks need to be changed in March.
Those plans will be reviewed by legislative committees and the next governor.
Whether the changes are major or minor and whether they will quell the 2-year-old controversy are the top questions.
However, the makeup of the committees has been a key topic for both sides.
Sanford, a 29-year educator, is assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in the St. Tammany Parish school system.
She was named chairwoman of the key committee by BESE, which has twice endorsed Common Core.
However, St. Tammany Parish also has been a hotbed of criticism of the standards in reading, writing and math.
Asked if she backs Common Core, Sanford said she wants the best standards, “whatever that looks like.
“I believe it is very important that I approach this with an open mind,” she said. “Finding the happy medium ... is what this committee will be all about.”
The gathering on Wednesday will include a breakdown on common themes from nearly 29,000 online comments submitted to the state Department of Education, mostly from educators.
In addition, the three subcommittees will hold individual sessions to hear from the public on the standards.
The subcommittees cover kindergarten through second grade; English language arts for grades three through 12; and math for grades three through 12.
Each subcommittee includes 29 members, mostly educators.
Additional hearings are planned for Shreveport, Alexandria, Crowley, Covington and New Orleans.
Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell. For more coverage of Louisiana government and politics, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog.