Tag Archives: Bobby Jindal

Gov. Jindal Issues Executive Order Protecting Parents’ Right to Opt Out of Common Core Testing


Bobby_Jindal

From EAGnews.org:

Amid reports from around the state of parents opting their children out of upcoming PARCC testing, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order Friday afternoon to protect students, teachers, and schools from the consequences of those opt-outs.

The executive order, which reiterates the standing rights of parents to opt their children out of such tests, calls on the state’s board of education to offer alternatives to the controversial PARCC testing.

The Common Core-linked Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests are slated to begin in March.

As reported by The Advertiser, “opting out by parents has the potential to hurt schools, districts and teachers in the state’s accountability system. Under the current accountability system, schools receive a zero for each student who doesn’t take the test.”

“Accountability scores are used to determine district and school performance scores as well as figuring into teacher evaluations,” the news source continues. “That can translate into monetary awards for both teachers and schools.”

However, Jindal’s executive order calls on BESE to, “as a viable and necessary action,” “grant districts the ability to offer nationally norm-referenced or other comparable assessment appropriate for Louisiana as an alternative to the PARCC test, including abbreviated versions for the purpose of benchmarking, rather than penalizing students, teachers and schools and jeopardizing our statewide accountability system.”

The order continues:

WHEREAS, nationally norm-referenced or other comparable assessments utilized by other states, and compliant with La. R.S. 17:24.4, are readily available in the marketplace and offer complete and abbreviated versions for the purpose of benchmarking, either of which can easily be administered as alternatives to the PARCC test;

WHEREAS, it is inherent upon BESE, pursuant to the clear statutory findings of law provided by the legislature, to avert the growing disruption to this year’s assessments by offering alternative means of testing readily available in the marketplace and currently utilized by other states, in order to avoid the negative impacts to student achievement, the teacher evaluation system, and the school and district accountability system.

KATC reports in Louisiana’s Lafayette Parish, kindergarten teacher Erin May is currently the only parent to opt her children out of the testing, but “numerous other parents have voiced concerns over the testing, which is linked to the Common Core curriculum.”

Those concerns have prompted Lafayette area parents to organize a meeting to take place Tuesday night so that “parents, school board members and other education stakeholders can discuss the issue.”

According to KNOE Channel 8, several parents in Ouachita Parish alone have already called their school principals to inform them that their children will not be taking the exam.

The news site also states that when they asked parents on Facebook if they would opt their children out of PARCC tests, “an overwhelming majority… said yes.”

Last summer, Jindal changed course on Common Core and PARCC, boldly announcing that what “began as an effort to simply raise standards for students… has morphed into a scheme to drive education curriculum from Washington, D.C.”

Jindal added, “Congress drew a bright red line that can’t be crossed and it clearly bars the federal government from ‘directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum programs of instructional material.’”

“Implementing PARCC in Louisiana crosses the line because what’s tested is what’s taught,” said the governor.

Jindal attempted to suspend PARCC testing in June of last year by way of executive order, asserting that PARCC did not allow a competitive bidding process, as required by Louisiana state law.

In response, the state’s BESE board joined in a lawsuit against Jindal that was filed by Black Alliance for Education Options. As a result, district Judge Todd Hernandez blocked Jindal’s executive order.

A recent Washington Examiner report says that Common Core will be the defining issue for GOP presidential contenders this year.

The Examiner’s Hugh Hewitt says he interviewed Jindal and several other potential candidates recently and reports that both Rick Perry and Marco Rubio also reject Common Core while Jeb Bush remains supportive of the initiative.

Specifically, Hewitt writes:

Bush is quick to defend the original theory and its necessity… vigorously rejecting the idea that Common Core meant in practice a national one-size-fits-all curriculum.

“Standards are different from curriculum,” he told me, “and that’s where I think the biggest misnomer [occurs and] where people legitimately get concerned.”

“I would be concerned if we had a national curriculum influenced by the federal government,” Bush added. “My God, I’d break out in a rash.”

In 2013, then Governor Rick Perry signed legislation effectively banning the Common Core State Standards from the state of Texas.

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Louisiana Politician Slams Common Core, Prefers ‘Parental Involvement and Less Government Intrusion’


My EAGnews.org exclusive:

State Senator Elbert Guillory is being referred to as a breath of fresh air for Louisiana, and his position on Common Core is just one reason why.

Several months ago, before Governor Jindal began to openly oppose Common Core, Senator Guillory, representing Louisiana District 24, released a short video explaining why he opposes the Common Core State Standards initiative.

Not only did Guillory hit the nail on the head with regard to Common Core, he also gave Louisianians an exhilarating and much needed reminder of what a people-serving politician should look like.

In the video, Guillory refers to Common Core as “minimal education standards not high enough to prepare Louisiana students for the intellectual, professional, and leadership demands of the modern world.”

Guillory goes on to say that “the most important elements in a child’s education are parental involvement and less government intrusion.”

According to the Senator, because his office was “bombarded” for several months with complaints about Common Core, they decided to participate in a poll, the result of which showed that, in his district, almost 70% of citizens oppose Common Core but would support Louisiana standards.

Senator Guillory then says something rarely heard from the mouths of politicians today: “It is my duty to listen and my obligation to respond to the concerns of the citizens I represent.”

Guillory, who took office as a Democrat in 2009, left the party last year to become the first black Republican senator in the State of Louisiana since Reconstruction.

Referring to himself as a “Frederick Douglass Republican,” Guillory says Democrats have “created the illusion that their agenda and their policies are what’s best for black people.”

In a video explaining why he decided to switch parties, Guillory reminds us that it was the Republican Party that was founded as an abolitionist movement to eradicate slavery while the Democrats were the “party of Jim Crow,” defending the rights of slave owners.

Guillory was recently selected to serve as honorary chair of the Free at Last PAC, an organization formed to support the efforts of Black Republicans who run for federal office and to educate the black community “about the values of the Republican Party.”

With regard to Common Core, Senator Guillory, who intends to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2015, recommends transferring the research and energy invested into the initiative to “create a higher education initiative that is Louisiana based, Louisiana deployed, and Louisiana controlled.”

Governor Bobby Jindal is currently being sued by the Louisiana BESE board over his attempts to rid the state of Common Core.

 

Common Core PARCC CEO Acknowledges Tests Will Drive Curriculum


By Danette Clark

The following snippits come from Susan Berry at Breitbart.com.

“The federally funded Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), issued a statement Friday confirming that the Common Core standards and their associated tests are intended to drive curriculum.”

“Chief executive officer of PARCC Laura Slover, said in the release, “High  quality assessments go hand-in-hand with high quality instruction based on high quality standards. You cannot have one without the other. The PARCC states see quality assessments as a part of instruction, not a break from instruction.””

“Slover’s statement was part of an announcement indicating that the states belonging to the PARCC consortium will reduce the number of passages and items in the English Language Arts/Literary End-of-Year test. PARCC said reducing the number of items included to measure some standards “reduces the amount of time spent on testing and lowers testing costs, while maintaining the quality of the assessments and their ability to inform instruction and to provide reliable information on the performance of all students.

In response to PARCC’s press release, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) website published the following statement:

The proponents of Common Core and PARCC continue to insist that tests and standards are not about curriculum, but that’s a ruse. Teachers already know that what is tested at the end of the year is what is taught in classrooms throughout the year. PARCC may not mandate one textbook or one pacing guide, but the CEO of the federally funded PARCC has admitted one thing: PARCC controls instruction and instruction is curriculum.

Jindal’s executive order suspending his state’s contracts with PARCC was blocked last week by a district judge.

“Common Core supporters know that standards drive curriculum. It’s the first thing you learn as a teacher. Take the standard. Break it apart. Teach to it,” Jindal’s chief of staff Kyle Plotkin told Breitbart News in an email statement. “Common Core supporters should step up and admit they are trying to drive curriculum. The argument about standards is a smokescreen. It’s about driving curriculum.”

Read the full article here.

Governor Bobby Jindal on Common Core Lawsuit


By Danette Clark

From Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Moves to Remove State from Common Core Standards


By Danette Clark

Yes! I’m late to the party as usual (darn day job), but great news late is still great news.

From Breitbart.com:

“In a press conference on Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced actions to remove his state from the Common Core standards and the aligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments.

Much of Jindal’s focus during the press conference was on the legality of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (BESE) decision to adopt the PARCC tests without first placing the state test out for bids. He said he wanted Louisiana to develop its own standards and, by law, to look at other options for tests.

“PARCC does not allow a competitive bidding process which is required under Louisiana law,” the Governor said. “BESE didn’t follow the rules.”

In a letter to PARCC officials the Governor asked the organization to immediately withdraw his state from the test consortium. Jindal also issued an executive order that instructs the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) to begin a competitive bidding process to purchase a new assessment and called on the DOE and BESE to develop Louisiana standards that can be approved by the state legislature in the next session.

The Governor said the state is no longer committed to implement the PARCC assessment in the coming school year and rendered the state unable to comply with the terms of the June 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Louisiana and PARCC due to its failure to allow for a competitive bidding process.

“It’s time for PARCC to withdraw from Louisiana,” Jindal said. “We won’t let the federal government take over Louisiana’s education standards. We’re very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators.”

“Common Core has not been fully implemented yet in Louisiana, and we need to start the process over,” Jindal continued. “It was rushed in the beginning and done without public input.”

A summary of the action taken by the Governor is as follows:

1. Issued an executive order that instructs the Louisiana Department of Education to conduct a competitive process to purchase a new assessment and which prohibits the expenditure of funds on cooperative group purchasing organizations and interstate agreements;

2. Suspended the rules adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from May 2014 to ensure that the Louisiana Department of Education is able to comply with Louisiana competitive bid law;

3. Instructed the Division of Administration to conduct a comprehensive accounting of all Louisiana expenditures and resources on PARCC, what services or products have been received in return for such expenditures, and copies of all contracts in place or in negotiation for the purchase of an assessment;

4. Issued a Request for Information to PARCC requesting information about the procurement processes utilized by the consortium, by the Fiscal Agent state, and by the Lead Procurement State to ensure that these processes complied with Louisiana law;

5. Notified the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association (NGA) of Louisiana’s termination of participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

State Superintendent of Education John White and BESE president Chas Roemer, both of whom are ardent supporters of the nationalized standards, held a media briefing immediately after Jindal’s press conference in which they repeated the words of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who said Tuesday that Jindal’s turnabout on Common Core was motivated by “politics.”

Though White said during the media briefing that he would never tell school districts to “ignore” Gov. Jindal, a statement on the DOE website, dated Wednesday, contradicts the Governor’s announcement and indicates that both BESE and the DOE have reaffirmed that Louisiana “will implement the Common Core State Standards, as well as grade 3-8 test forms and questions developed by states within… PARCC for the 2014-2015 school year.”

“This is what the constitutionally elected bodies of our state agreed to,” White said during the press briefing. “The Governor’s announcement today comes at the bottom of the ninth inning.”

White and Roemer added that the laws of Louisiana are on their side.

In response to Gov. Jindal’s announcement, state Rep. Brett Geymann (R) told Breitbart News, “It is a day for all parents in Louisiana to celebrate. We are very pleased in the move by the Governor to remove us from PARCC and Common Core.”

“The Governor shares the same concerns that many of us have with the one-size-fits-all standards, the federal government’s overreach into our education decisions, and the lack of parental involvement in the process from the start,” Geymann added. “In addition, it’s significant we have not used the public bidding process to purchase our state test.”

Anna Arthurs, an organizer of a grassroots parents group that is opposed to Common Core, told Breitbart News that Jindal’s announcement is important for both Louisiana and the nation.

“Proponents of the Common Core initiative try to deny a federal overreach into education. However, this overreach is undeniable with PARCC (and SBAC) testing,” Arthurs said. “The federal government exclusively funds the test consortia. It provides curriculum frameworks to assist teachers in curriculum development. This is in direct violation of the General Education Provisions Act.”

“In the cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education and PARCC member states, it mandates that the participating states ‘make student-level data that results from the assessment system available on an ongoing basis,’” she added. “They have even developed an oversight committee which has a role in overseeing test question development.”

“Since teachers are forced to ‘teach to the test’ with high-stakes assessments, the federal government will have more control over the resulting curriculum than the local school districts,” Arthurs said. “Gov. Jindal is taking the lead in rejecting untested, unproven standards that have yet to live up to their claim as being ‘rigorous.’”

Grassroots organizer Sara Wood told Breitbart News that Jindal “acted on behalf of the parents to restore and protect a piece of our state sovereignty and individual freedoms as parents.”

In response to White and Roemer’s comment that in passing the controversial Common Core measure the state legislature was doing the will of the people, Wood said Jindal is “carrying out his executive obligation to support and uphold our Constitution because the legislature failed.”

“With all the pushback by parents and now action by governors nationwide, it is safe to say that Common Core was sold to state leaders as one thing in 2009 but ended up as something else in 2014,” she continued. “That violates the spirit of the Constitution and three federal laws.”

“The Common Core was sold as ‘just higher standards,’ but through the initiative that surrounds it, we are taking a great leap toward unprecedented federal intervention and eventual control of education, creating common mediocrity nationwide,” Wood said.

Jamie Gass, director of the Center for School Reform at the Massachusetts-based Pioneer Institute, said, “Gov. Jindal has come to realize what more and more governors and states are learning – Common Core and the national testing consortia are Obama administration initiatives with numerous federal bureaucratic strings attached.”

“If Common Core was genuinely ‘state-led’ and ‘voluntary,’ as its DC-based advocates like to claim, then why does the U.S. Secretary of Education immediately threaten or scold any state heading for the exit door?” Gass asked.”

Louisiana Governor Submits Editorial on Common Core: “Leave Education to Local Control”


By Danette Clark

This is the Bobby Jindal I voted for.

Now Governor, we’re trusting you to put action to words and get us out of Common Core tout suite!

Governor Jindal’s editorial in USA Today:

“High standards for our students? Count me in. My dad was not happy with straight A’s. If my brother or I got a 95%, he wanted to know what happened on the other 5%.

Even so, allowing the federal government to dictate education to states and local government? No thanks.

It is true, the Common Core standards did originally grow from states wanting to increase standards so our students can better compete with the rest of the world. Great idea. And Louisiana was in that group.

But a few things have happened along the way. First, the federal government became increasingly involved. Unless you are fighting a war, the kind that requires tanks, submarines and jets, you really don’t want the federal government involved.

I’m from the school that believes education is a matter best left for local control. The notion of Washington determining curricula is something most states are simply not interested in. It’s a non-starter.

As we have seen in Obamacare, President Obama’s Washington believes it knows better than the peasants in the states. But centralized planning didn’t work in Russia, it’s not working with our health care system and it won’t work in education.

It’s true that Common Core never started out as a curriculum. It’s even true that it still is not a curriculum. But just as certainly, if the feds dictate the standards of measure, the local curricula will have no choice but to follow. To succeed on Common Core tests, states will have to adopt curricula that teach to the tests. To think otherwise is folly.

Second, parents have spoken out. It has become fashionable in the news media to believe there is a right-wing conspiracy against Common Core. The folks who think that need to get out more. The rebellion against federal government mandated testing is widespread and is led by parents of all stripes and political persuasions.

If we get to the point where we are ignoring parents, we are making a big elitist mistake. I have news for Washington: We can have rigorous standards without giving control to the federal government. Parents deserve a voice in this debate.”

Louisiana Ed Department Recommends Lesson on Pluralism From Former Obama Advisor Who Compares Christians to Al Qaeda and Has an ‘Affinity’ for Terrorists


EbooPatel

By Danette Clark

In one of the most conservative states in the nation, the Louisiana Department of Education has risked it all by going all-in on the far left and dangerous global agenda of the Common Core State Standards.

As shown in this Grade 5 Year-at-a-Glance ELA Curriculum Sample, the Louisiana DOE recommends a disturbing and grossly false history of Christopher Columbus, a video titled A Declaration of INTERdependence, and a  lesson on pluralism from Eboo Patel, a former Obama ‘faith’ advisor who recently compared Pat Robertson to Osama Bin Laden and Christian and Jewish “totalitarians” to Al Qaeda terrorists.

Like President Obama, Patel also has history with domestic terrorist William Ayers.

During the 2004-2005 school year, Patel stayed as a guest in residence in the same hall as Bill Ayers and his wife at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Patel also co-authored a book in 2005 with Bill Ayers’ adopted son, Chesa Boudin.

The book, Letters from Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out, was authored by several young radicals including Ismail Khalidi. Ismail is the son of Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University professor with ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, who describes Israel as a “racist” state with an “apartheid” system.

The Preface of Letters from Young Activists was written by Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn (also once wanted by the FBI for terrorism), who describes Letters as “a clarion call of hope, defiance, critical analysis, humor, irony, and self-conscious insistence that the queer, the Palestinian, the immigrant, the privileged, the children of prisoners and hip-hopsters have arrived.”

The back cover of the book boasts an endorsement from Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop-killer and former member of the Black Panther Party. On the Acknowledgments page is a great big thank you to Bill Ayers himself for “guidance” and “encouragement”.

Patel and Ayers’ son appeared together on radio and at Chicago’s Seminary Co-op Bookstore in 2005 to promote the release of their book.

In a later book, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul, Eboo Patel thanks Ayers for suggesting there may be a story worth telling floating around in his head.

He further writes that he “searched for models of people who had tried to block the machinery of American imperialism,” at which point, he says, a “campus radical” suggested Patel talk with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

During a 2007 NPR interview promoting the release of Acts of Faith, Patel, a Chicago native, was asked about his affinity for “the American terrorist, Bill Ayers, who is a member of the Weather Underground.” Patel responded: “Well, you know, actually my story is much closer to Bill Ayers as in the early days than it is to any of these Muslim terrorists, even though I’m Muslim, because I actually grew up in the same hometown that Bill Ayers did and I was kind of taught the same myths about America, a land of freedom and equality and justice, et cetera, et cetera.”

The essay by Patel recommended by the Louisiana Department of Education, We Are Each Other’s Business, is completely harmless on its face. However, knowing of Patel’s associations and political and social views on America, you have to wonder about the underlying message and intent of the lesson as a whole. After all, Patel, Ayers, and many of their marxist-progressive friends have a long history of attacking Christianity and American values in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘religious freedom’.

Although none of Patel’s writings are specifically recommended by the Common Core State Standards, Patel’s beliefs fit perfectly with the agenda at the heart of Common Core — an agenda hostile to Christians, Jews, and America, and conceived in the minds of terrorists.

Is this what conservative-Christian Governor Bobby Jindal had in mind for Louisiana’s children? If not, perhaps it’s time Jindal take a closer look at his State Superintendent of Education, John White, who, as head of Teach for America Chicago, likely worked closely with Eboo Patel through his organization, Interfaith Youth Core.