After weeks of speculation, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his plans to try to yank Louisiana out of the Common Core education standards.
The governor said he sent a letter to the Partnership of Assessments for College and Career Readiness (PARCC) asking the organization to terminate its agreement with the Louisiana Board of Secondary and Elementary Education (BESE).
Jindal once backed Common Core, but he said the concept had gone from being an effort to raise educational standards to become an attempted federal takeover of education.
"Proponents weren’t up front about federal involvement in PARCC and Common Core. Now that we understand the federal overreach involved, we need to slow down and make the right decision," Jindal said today.
Jindal also said that the memorandum of understanding between BESE and PARCC violated state law. The MOU bound the state to standardized tests developed by PARCC, said Jindal, which violates the state's competitive bid laws.
"We won't allow our state to be in a national consortium where our standards and tests are dictated by the federal government," said Jindal. "PARCC does not allow for a competitive bid process for the tests, which is required under our state law. Additionally, other vendors have entered the market that offer comparable assessments at lower cost and allow greater input from the states who hire them."
The governor said Louisiana can set high standards for its students without being a part of Common Core.
State lawmakers and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education have voted to maintain the Common Core in public school classrooms. And Superintendent of Education John White said Jindal doesn't have the legal authority to stop Louisiana from using the standards.
White, who still supports Common Core, today said he flat out disagrees with the governor's statement that the Common Core arrangement violates state bid law.
"The MOU actually, it says this word for word...'does not constitute a financial commitment on the part of the parties,'" said White.
White said state law is clear that the state board of education and the superintendent have to be on board in order to cancel the agreements.