Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) was once a champion of Common Core State Standards. But on Wednesday, he turned his back entirely on the program, issuing an executive order instructing his state Department of Education to implement a new standard.
You might be wondering why that's notable in the world of politics. Two reasons:
1. Jindal is a potential 2016 presidential candidate.
2. Common Core — basically a national set of education standards in math and English that have been adopted by most states — has become a politically charged issue in Republican politics. Conservative critics have decried Common Core as federal overreach into a an area that should be under the domain of states.
In short, Jindal's move seems to be an apparent recognition that if he did not take a hard stand against Common Core, he could be in for some real headaches in the 2016 primary.
In a statement, Jindal said it's time for Louisiana start from scratch.
"We're very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators," he said. "Common Core has not been fully implemented yet in Louisiana, and we need to start the process over. It was rushed in the beginning and done without public input."
Jindal's office said he "notified the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association (NGA) of Louisiana’s termination of participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative."
Jindal previously supported the program. But in recent months, he has been distancing himself from Common Core. On Wednesday, he emphasized his desire to separate his state from the federal government on education.
“If other states want to allow the federal government to dictate to them, they have every right to make that choice. But education is a primary responsibility of states, and we will not cede this responsibility to the federal government,'' said the governor.
Republican Govs. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Nikki Haley of South Carolina recently signed laws pulling their states out of Common Core.