What's next for our school systems? - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

What's next for our school systems?

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Once a strong supporter of common core, Governor Jindal is pulling the plug on the Common Core standards in Louisiana

On Wednesday, the governor issued an executive order to remove Louisiana from Common Core and PARCC, a program to test these standards.  He's asking the state board of education, or BESE, to produce new standardized tests that are not associated with Common Core.

"There is no reason the department of education can't build on our already improving educational system, and come up with new standards to make it even better for our kids. The bottom line is this, Common Core is not been fully implemented yet in our state, we need to start this process over,” Jindal said.

 But can Governor Jindal do this legally? Superintendent John White says no.

White said Jindal needs two other signatures to pull out of the standards and PARCC. Those signatures are his and the president of the BESE board, Chas Roemer.  And both White and Roemer are strong supporters of Common Core.

So for anyone who's new to this, what is common core?

In 2009, the National Governor's Association decided there should be educational constancy across state lines.  This means a fifth grader in Louisiana should be on the same page as a fifth grader in New York. Louisiana didn't sign up for the Common Core until 2010 and only began implementation this past school year. Some students took the PARCC test, but only on a trial basis. Full implementation of Common Core and PARCC are scheduled for this year.

For now, it looks like the Common Core battle is at a stand-still. The governor's administrative office is going to stop funding PARCC until the contract can be reviewed.

Ronald Dunn  is what they call a teacher leader at Neville High School.  His responsibility is to ease the transition of Common Core in the classroom. He said if Common Core is done away with, teachers will lose two years of training.

"The students will lose the teachers implementing those standards in such a way that would raise their level of comprehension," Dunn said.

 Dunn also says the Obama administration has put money toward Common Core, but doesn't control it.

 "It is a state based thing the states wrote it. The states adopted it. The teachers and districts decide what curriculum they use to implement the standards," Dunn said.  

Superintendent White said it’s unfortunate that teachers and  educations are in the middle of this political whirlwind. In fact he calls it noise coming out of Baton Rouge.

"I know that that doesn't feel good if you are parent whose children are in school or a teacher who is trying to get ready for the next school year. At the same time they should know that our state board and our department are committed to seeing the plan through that we started four years ago,” White said.

Dunn  said he doesn't know what's  going to happen, but he doesn't believe the state should go back to what it had been doing.

"Last I checked we are number 49. Why would we continue doing the things that have put us 49th," Dunn said.  

 At this point, one thing is for sure, no one knows what standards will be taught when students go back to school in August. 
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