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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jindal plays politics with Common Core

“Shame on any politician who won't stand with the majority of everyday parents and educators to maintain higher standards for kids."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has defied his state legislature and state Superintendent of Education  While by issuing executive orders today to withdraw from the Common Core state standards and a federally funded Common Core testing group testing group.

Jindal also instructed the state legislature to develop its own set of standards next legislative session to replace the Common Core. “We’re very alarmed about choice and local control of curriculum being taken away from our parents and educators,” he said at a press conference. “If other states want to allow the federal government to dictate to them, they have every right to make that choice.”

Jindal, a likely presidential contender in 2016, was once a staunch supporter of the standards. But he has changed his mind amidst mounting opposition and tea party pushback.

He said his office has notified the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association that the state intends to withdraw from the Common Core. His office also notified PARCC that the state intends to terminate its relationship with the consortia. He said the contract with PARCC is in violation of state law because it did not go through a competitive bidding process.

Jindal’s said his executive orders would set up such a process to replace the testing group’s exams with a high-quality test at the lowest cost possible.

On Tuesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan defended the Common Core and addressed the growing partisan divide over the standards on "CBS This Morning." He noted that Jindal was once in favor of the standards.  "Gov. Jindal was a passionate supporter before he was against it," Duncan said. "In that situation it was about politics. It's not about education. That's part of the problem."

Jindal responded by saying he wouldn’t allow the federal government to bully him over the Common Core.
“The proponents of Common Core claim it is not a federal takeover, but Secretary Duncan's comments and actions prove otherwise,” he said.

Michael Cohen, president of Achieve, a nonprofit education association that helped develop the Common Core, said Jindal’s move amounted to playing politics.

"On the same day a new WSJ/NBC poll shows overwhelming public support for Common Core, with only a vocal minority of ideologues opposing it, some elected officials still insist on playing politics with children's futures,” he said. “Shame on any politician who won't stand with the majority of everyday parents and educators to maintain higher standards for kids."

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