Gov. Jindal seeks to block Common Core test in La.

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2014 at 6:56 pm •  Published: June 18, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took steps Wednesday to block the use of tests tied to the Common Core education standards, a move that puts him at odds with state legislative, education and business leaders but one that could help the likely 2016 presidential candidate with tea party supporters and conservative voters.

Top Louisiana education officials said the Republican governor overstepped his authority and they intend to go ahead and roll out the standards and the testing tied to them.

Jindal once supported Common Core, but reversed his stance earlier this year. He says federal officials are using the English and math standards adopted by most states as a method for wresting education control from local officials.

"Common Core's become a one-size-fits-all program that simply doesn't make sense for our state," Jindal said at a news conference.

The standards, adopted by more than 40 states, are a grade-by-grade benchmark of what students should learn in English and math. They were developed by states, allowing states to compare their students' performance.

Supporters of Common Core say the standards promote critical thinking and raise expectations for students, better preparing them for college and careers.

Criticism has grown as the Obama administration encouraged states to use the standards, leading to charges that the Common Core is an effort to nationalize education and remove authority over content and curriculum from local control.

But unlike in other states where Republican leaders have yanked the multi-state education standards from public school classrooms, Jindal lacks support from state lawmakers. And Jindal's stance pits him against his own hand-picked education superintendent.

Both the Louisiana Legislature and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education support the standards.

Jindal's executive authority is limited, so he sought to strike at tests from the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers that are linked to the standards, as a backdoor way to get Louisiana out of Common Core.

"This does get us out of Common Core, because Common Core to my mind is defined by the test," the governor said.

He also said he'll ask lawmakers next year to revisit the debate and adopt state-specific education standards that he's asking the education department and state education board to develop.

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