American Press, Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Common Core
American Press, Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Common Core:
Politics, history tells us, makes strange bedfellows. There’s no clearer example of that than the battle royal over the implementation of Common Core education standards that escalated earlier this week when Gov. Bobby Jindal announced he was ordering the state out of the new tests and academic standards.
A few weeks ago, state lawmakers beat back attempts to extricate the state from Common Core and overwhelmingly passed a bill supporting it in a 29-8 vote in the Senate and a 70-17 vote in the House for the amended version of the bill. Jindal vetoed the bill, but the margins of victory indicate state lawmakers could muster the two-thirds vote to override Jindal’s veto.
Undeterred, the governor said Common Core represents a federal government takeover of education in Louisiana.
“We need to start the process over,” said Jindal.
He’s found plenty of allies, including state Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Moss Bluff, who has been the Legislature’s most vocal critic of the governor’s use of one-time money to balance the state budget. The confederacy includes teachers’ unions that bitterly fought Jindal’s education reforms over the past two years.
Across this veritable no-man’s land are Jindal’s hand-picked state superintendent of education, John White, and the president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Chas Roemer. They’ve argued that the governor cannot unilaterally stop the implementation.
In their Common Core support camp are good government advocate groups, including the Council for a Better Louisiana, Chamber Southwest Louisiana, Committee of 100 Louisiana, Education’s Next Horizon, Blueprint Louisiana and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, whose president, Stephen Waguespack, is Jindal’s former chief of staff.
Strange bedfellows, indeed.
Several of the governor’s critics say Jindal is on shaky legal ground and has over-reached the authority of his office.
All of this appears headed for a courtroom and a judge to sort out the various legalities. And with school set to open in less than two months, you can bet a temporary restraining order is in the offing.