I have a hard time believing politicians, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is the current shining example of why I am that way. He’s the latest to jump on the “Sue Barack Obama” bandwagon with his lawsuit against Common Core.
Back in 2010, this was part of the remarks that Gov. Jindal gave when he addressed the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry at their annual meeting.
“When I went to these schools I asked them how we could empower them to do more of what worked and eliminate obstacles to help them end practices that waste money on programs that don’t work. “After our schools visits and meetings, it’s clear that our path to reform centers around three pillars:
· Putting a highly effective teacher in every classroom
· Giving parents and students an equal opportunity in education; and
· Giving school leaders more flexibility to spend their dollars on policies that improve student achievement
“Over the past four years, we’ve already taken steps to meet these goals, including:
· Creating the Red Tape Waiver to help local school districts cut through red tape and provide schools with the flexibility needed to improve student performance;
· Starting the student-based budgeting pilot to put the decisions about dollars in the hands of people closest to students;
· Passing a new value added teacher evaluation system that gives personalized feedback on student achievement to teachers;
· Adopting the Common Core State Standards, which will raise expectations for every child;
· Creating the scholarship program in New Orleans to give parents of students at failing schools more opportunity to meet their children’s needs;
· Expanding the number of charter schools; and
· Supporting the significant growth of the Louisiana Virtual School.
Fast forward to 2014, and now he wants nothing to do with Common Core. In previous statements, he’s said such things as, “Centralized planning didn’t work in Russia, it’s not working with our health care system and it won’t work in education.” Never mind the fact that, as the governor of Louisiana, Jindal was all for Common Core when it first rolled out.
WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today released the names of the states and territories that have joined the Common Core State Standards Initiative: Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Utah; Vermont; Virgin Islands; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming.
Now that Common Core has become the fight de jure of conservatives, most of the Republican governors would rather be caught in the back of a limo with a dead prostitute as opposed to backing Common Core in public.
I can understand the desire for local control of education, and I grew up in an age of local control of education. What I don’t understand is why America can’t have one single set of educational goals for every single student in this country. Do we not want our kids to be the best and brightest? Schools are still funded locally and controlled by local boards, so I fail to see how having a common goal amounts to federal takeover of education.
We’re falling farther and farther behind when compared to other countries when it comes to education. I don’t want my kids to be dumber than a sack of rocks, so anything that can improve their education is perfectly fine by me. I know that the school system is still controlled by the local board, and not Arnie Duncan. I know that my taxes pay for the school system. The last time I checked, there were no educational policy makers here that were sent down from Washington DC.
How does one go from actively supporting an attempt in improving our educational system to suing the federal government? I guess that, if your eyes are focused on getting nominated in 2016, you have to do whatever will get you support from your base as well as the financial support from the PACS and deep pocketed individuals.
In all this, it seems as though the kids are getting the middle finger.