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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Students, parents and teachers estimate the number of items in jars at Barbe Elementary during an event for a hands-on look at math and science in action. The school’s annual Tackling Common Core Through STEM brought teachers and community members together to give parents an inside look at how their children are learning in the classroom. (Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press)

Students, parents and teachers estimate the number of items in jars at Barbe Elementary during an event for a hands-on look at math and science in action. The school’s annual Tackling Common Core Through STEM brought teachers and community members together to give parents an inside look at how their children are learning in the classroom. (Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press)

Common Core: the core of legislation

Last Modified: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 11:48 AM

What appears to be the main event for the 2014 regular session of the state Legislature gets underway today when hearings start on bills that address the controversial Common Core academic standards.

Several state business, civic and education advocacy groups upped the ante Monday in a news release to media that said they would offer no quarter to those who want to scrap or delay implementation of Common Core in the state’s public schools.

Such heavy hitters as the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Council for a Better Louisiana, Stand for Children Louisiana, Blueprint Louisiana, ExxonMobil, and the Greater Shreveport and Central Louisiana chambers of commerce said they would say “no deal” to any compromise that would hinder the progress of Common Core standards.

“There is no need for legislators to make any more ‘deals’ with unions and associations of school boards, superintendents and narrow political interests who have made it clear through their support of various bills that their true desire is to scrap Common Core altogether; create a new set of standards that say nothing about rigorous content, international benchmarking or expert validation; and create student assessments that will not show us how students, schools or districts perform compared to their peers in other states,” read the news release.

The more than two dozen groups that supported the news release said those opposed to Common Core want to “put a fence around Louisiana and hold our students back.”

“We challenge our state leaders to stand up for the children of Louisiana and step away from the politics of the adults,” read the news release.

State Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Moss Bluff, finds his legislation, House Bill 381, in the cross hairs. The bill would halt the state’s use of Common Core and establish a commission to develop its own standards.

House Bill 558, by state Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans, would prohibit the use of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Careers tests and revert the state back to LEAP tests and standards formerly used by the state.

There are legitimate questions about Common Core, but raising standards for public school students shouldn’t be among them.

Both bills are scheduled to be heard today in the House Committee on Education. Round One is expected to be long, arduous and perhaps bloody, particularly if neither side is willing to compromise.

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