JINDAL PLAYS POLITICS
He now opposes school standards
Almost as soon as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order that he said would withdraw his state from the Common Core education standards, his education chief disagreed. “The state will continue to implement the Common Core standards,” said John White, Louisiana’s education superintendent. “We are not willing to subject our children to last-minute changes to throw our system into educational chaos.”
The Common Core State Standards dictate what students should know by the end of each grade, establishing consistent expectations across states. They do not prescribe a curriculum. With bipartisan support, Louisiana and 39 other states agreed to the standards in 2010, with five more following in the next two years. But recently, an odd coalition between the Tea Party and teachers unions has ramped up opposition.
Louisiana adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 and worked toward full implementation by 2014-15. The initiative was on the right track, with Jindal’s staunch support. The Common Core standards “will raise expectations for every child,” he said in 2012.
Late last year, as Common Core critics emerged, Jindal, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, began raising “concerns.” Last week, he completed his reversal on the heels of a fundraising visit to South Carolina, saying he wants state officials to develop “Louisiana standards and Louisiana tests for Louisiana students.”
How are those Louisiana standards working out so far? Louisiana’s fourth-graders rank 49th among the states in math proficiency. Eighth-graders rank 48th. Meanwhile, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., began raising standards in 2010 and now lead the country in reading and math score gains. In 1993, Massachusetts reformed its school system, placing rigorous standards front and center. It is now first in many education rankings.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE WASHINGTON POST