Governor Jindal asks PARCC to withdraw from Louisiana - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Governor Jindal asks PARCC to withdraw from Louisiana

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A look at Gov. Jindal's actions on Common Core

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- In his efforts to remove the Common Core education standards from Louisiana's public schools, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced several actions Wednesday, saying he:

--Issued an executive order that requires the state education department to conduct a competitive bid process to purchase new standardized tests, an effort that Jindal said will keep the department from using its planned test tied to Common Core.

--Sent a letter to the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, seeking state withdrawal from the consortium and saying the state "is no longer committed" to use its standardized tests, which are linked to Common Core.

--Suspended rules adopted by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in May involving the implementation of the PARCC testing.

--Notified the Council for Chief State School Officers and the National Governor's Association that Louisiana was ending its participation in the Common Core State Standards.

The Department of Education said the governor's efforts won't derail Louisiana's use of the Common Core standards or the PARCC tests and issued a point-by-point rebuttal of the governor's actions. The department says:

--It doesn't need to do a new bid for standardized tests and can use an existing contract to purchase the PARCC test questions and answers. (But the Jindal administration replied by saying it intends to suspend that contract, and the education department was researching its legal options.)

--Jindal can't withdraw Louisiana from the PARCC consortium without agreement from the education superintendent and the chairman of the state education board, both of whom support Common Core.

--Jindal's suspension of the rules passed by BESE has no effect on the state's ability to implement the Common Core standards or the PARCC tests.

--The governor doesn't have the authority to unilaterally end Louisiana's participation in the Common Core standards, because state law gives that authority to the education department and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

UPDATE 6/18/14 6:58pm

(SHREVEPORT, La.) -- Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order Wednesday that requires the state Department of Education to use competitive bidding for the state's standardized tests. It's an attempt to derail Louisiana’s use of tests linked to Common Core education standards.

The Department of Education planned to use Common Core-tied tests known as PARCC for students in third through eighth grades starting next school year.

"If other states want to allow the Federal government to dictate to them, they've got every right to make that choice,” Gov. Jindal said. “But education is and always has been a primary responsibility of states and local government. We will not see this responsibility to the Federal government in the state of Louisiana."

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana Department of Education say it's within their legal rights to keep Common Core in place.

In a press release this afternoon the groups say under the Louisiana state constitution, BESE "shall supervise and control the public elementary and secondary schools and special schools under its jurisdiction and shall have budgetary responsibility for all funds appropriated or allocated by the state for those schools, all as provided by law."

BESE adopted the Common Core standards back in July of 2010 as minimum expectations for reading, writing and mathematics.

Where the dispute heads next is unclear.

Local school districts tell KTBS they plan to move forward with making sure the teachers are prepared to teach students this fall.

In a statement from Caddo Parish Superintendent Dr. Theodis Goree said quote:

“With today's announcement from Governor Jindal, there is great uncertainty as to the future of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Tests (PARCC). Caddo Parish Schools will continue to focus our energies, talents, and resources to implement a rigorous curriculum that prepares all students for college and career readiness. Our decisions are grounded in best practices resulting in positive student achievement, ensuring Caddo students will be prepared for any test the state decides to use in the upcoming school year.”

Bossier Parish Superintendent D.C. Machen said their plan was to implement the revised Louisiana standards and will go forward to do so.

“We definitely did invest money and time because we did not want to be behind the 8-ball,” he said. “We wanted to be proactive and make sure we could provide the most conducive learning atmosphere in our classroom.”

KTBS 3 News spoke with Dr. Phillip Rozeman—a local business man that has been very involved with bringing the Common Core standards to Louisiana from the very beginning. He believes the differing opinions between the Governor and Department of Education and BESE board confuses the school districts.

“I think the school districts get somewhat of a mixed message,” Rozeman said. “But they have spent a lot of effort moving forward on this. They believe through that. I think this is the right thing for them to do for their districts. They're going to go forward.”

We also spoke with teacher advocate Jackie Lansdale. She agrees of the idea of common core and would like to see the nation have one set test for all students to take and be compared on. She said what she's always said—the implementation was rushed.

“We told you. We said loud and clear all early, early on our misgivings. We think it was meritorious. We think there was a lot of value to it... But it was flawed with complications from the very beginning.”

UPDATE 6/18/14 2:05pm

(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- The Louisiana state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Louisiana Department of Education today reaffirmed that the state will implement the Common Core State Standards, as well as grade 3-8 test forms and questions developed by states within the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) for the 2014-2015 school year. The Department will deliver and score the grade 3-8 tests using the state's currently active contract for grade 3-8 testing, awarded through the state procurement process. 

PREVIOUS STORY 6/18/14 1:37pm

Common Core could become a thing of the past in Louisiana

(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- Today, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sent a letter to the Partnership of Assessments for College and Career Readiness (PARCC) asking the organization to immediately withdraw from the State of Louisiana. It's a move designed to end Common Core in Louisiana.

Jindal said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon in Baton Rouge this will remove Louisiana from Common Core because he believes it is defined by the test, which PARCC administers.

 State Education Superintendent John White, whom Jindal appointed, defended Common Core during the past legislative session and wants the state to stay in the program. Superintendent White and BESE President Chas Roemer are expected to comment on the governor's announcement shortly.

KTBS 3's Amy Vitrano is getting local reaction to this afternoon's major announcement. She's have much more later today on KTBS 3 News at 5pm & 6pm.

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