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Louisiana higher education officials stick to Common Core, despite Gov. Jindal’s objections

The agency that oversees Louisiana universities is challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal's stance on Common Core. (Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP) The agency that oversees Louisiana universities is challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal’s stance on Common Core. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

The group overseeing Louisiana’s public colleges and universities delivered a strong message to Gov. Bobby Jindal this week: We will keep teaching Common Core.

The Louisiana Board of Regents – a group of Jindal appointees – reiterated to colleges and universities on Monday that all educators in the state will still be trained to teach the national K-12 standards. The announcement comes less than a week after Jindal declared that Louisiana would drop adhering to the standards. His announcement made his among the first states to pull away from Common Core.

The memo from the Board of Regents is one of the state’s first attempts to clarify the future of the curriculum, of which state Superintendent John White is a strong backer. If teacher training programs veer from Common Core, they can lose approval of state certification for prospective teachers, the Regents memo warns.

Louisiana lawmakers have mostly supported Common Core, which at its peak had been adopted by 45 states. The curriculum sets standards in math and reading, which state Sen. Conrad Appel – head of the Senate Education Committee – said is important for the historically low-performing state.

“The fact is that the vast majority of educators and university folks believe Common Core is superior to any standards that exist in any state,” he said in a live-chat Tuesday with the Times-Picayune. Appel, a Republican, warned that withdrawing from the national standards would mean that “generations of our children will be stuck with a low-quality education.

But Jindal has blasted the curriculum as a step toward the nationalization of education. He wants the state – not the federal government – to craft the standards for each school district.

While the governor can’t control what is taught in the classroom, Jindal has promised to strike down state contracts that are used to purchase standardized testing materials.

“It is time for the Department of Education to come up with a plan B,” Jindal told reporters last week.

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