I’m very concerned about all of the lawsuits and legal commotion surrounding the Common Core State Standards that were adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the BESE Board in 2010. These standards are described as fundamental descriptions of reading, writing, and math skills that focus on the ability to think independently.
As a legislator, complaints I’ve received about Common Core from parents include its educational “sticker shock” on students, who are unable to complete the work, even after several hours per night that the parents spend helping their children, and from teachers, who don’t have current material or sufficient direction. Others have warned that the standards are nothing more than a vast conspiracy masterminded by East Coast mad scientists and financed by West Coast techies to be shoved down the throats of the rest of us and that Common Core is nothing more than the educational version of Obamacare.
On the other hand, its supporters insist that it is essential to upgrade Louisiana educational outcomes, which we all know have been at the bottom or towards the bottom of rankings for decades. By ignoring the standards, Common Core proponents warn, Louisiana students are just going to fall further behind.
So who’s right? Is Common Core so fundamentally flawed that it needs to be thrown out and start over? Common Core does not have the best connotation these days and has come to personify everything bad about an overreaching federal government ruining education and brainwashing our children.
Still we do live in a standardized test world, and those pesky test scores, more than anything else, determine a student’s choice of college or graduate school or scholarship assistance, be the test the ACT, SAT or the Graduate School Exams like the LSAT. If the standardized tests are undergoing change, is it risky to ignore this?
Now the matter is apparently in the courts and do we really want public policy dictated by the courts?
I would like to hear from people on the front lines that are dealing with Common Core directly. Is it working or not? Does it need to be scrapped? Does it need to be fixed? Can it be fixed?
I would like to try to initiate a blog discussion on this very important topic so that I as a legislator can get some direction and possibly help address the issue in the next legislative session.