Compromise Could End Common Core In Louisiana

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Blake Neff Reporter
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A new legislative compromise on the verge of passage in Louisiana could make it the latest state to withdraw from Common Core … at least, if activists have their way.

The compromise takes the form of three different bills currently working their way through the legislature. One bill passed the state Senate last week, and the other two were approved by the state House on Wednesday. The bills will together create a new set of school standards for Louisiana by next spring and overhaul its standardized testing system.

However, until Wednesday, it appeared the compromise could hit a roadblock in the form of Gov. Bobby Jindal. The governor, who is exploring a possible presidential run, is one of the country’s biggest Common Core critics, and he had expressed worry that the compromise doesn’t do enough to guarantee the standards will be replaced. However, on Wednesday, Jindal finally gave his support to the compromise, removing the last barrier to its implementation.

In a way, the compromise simply delays the final resolution of the Common Core debate. Officially, Louisiana will have a review board immediately begin drafting a new set of standards, while giving the public and lawmakers substantial opportunity to comment.

The standards will be finalized by the state school board next spring, at which point the state’s governor will have the power to either accept the board’s new standards, or send them back to try again. Since Louisiana will have a new governor in 2016, however, their exact feelings on education standards are uncertain, and they could potentially reject a set of standards they consider too similar to Common Core, or too dissimilar.

Both Common Core opponents and supporters appear to think this compromise will end up with their side coming out on top.

“This is not designed to get us out of Common Core,” state senator Conrad Appel, a Common Core supporter, told The Times-Picayune. Membership of the standards review board will be determined by the state’s pro-Common Core superintendent, and the state school board is pro-Core as well, so supporters expect the replacement standards to have a new name while still largely preserve Common Core’s actual content.

Such an outcome has already been seen in Indiana and South Carolina, which repealed Common Core last year only to have activists complain that replacement standards were nearly identical. (RELATED: Common Core Is Dead In South Carolina … Or Is It?)

Jindal’s acceptance of the compromise could complicate a possible presidential run. By delaying the actual replacement of Common Core and putting Jindal himself on the sidelines, it will be harder for him to make the case to Republican voters that he is their strongest champion against the standards.

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