Common Core: Governor v. the People
The Louisiana Legislature, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the State Superintendent of Education have stood strong in support of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests.
On June 6, after Gov. Jindal failed in his efforts to kill CCSS and PARCC during the legislative session, he stated, “It is time for the Department of Education to come up with a Plan B … I am committed to getting us out of PARCC, out of Common Core.”
The question is … does Jindal have the constitutional authority to unilaterally get the state out of Common Core and PARCC?
First, BESE has the constitutional authority to enact the standards and select the test.
BESE “shall supervise and control the public elementary and secondary schools … as provided by law.”
Second, the law clearly provides for CCSS and PARCC, and every attempt to change the law this session was defeated. The law states:
“Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, standards-based assessments implemented by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in English language arts and mathematics shall be based on nationally recognized content standards … Rigorous student achievement standards shall be set with reference to test scores of the same grade levels nationally.”
So, by what means could Jindal thwart this authority?
Educate Now! is skeptical that the governor can force BESE to drop Common Core and adopt new standards. Even if he convened a commission to write new standards, BESE would not have to adopt them. He would likely focus on eliminating the PARCC tests because Common Core standards without tests aligned to these standards would be pretty meaningless.