BATON ROUGE, La. – Common Core is a “carefully orchestrated scheme” by the federal government to influence and control what gets taught in America’s K-12 classrooms, and that is a direct violation of U.S. law.
That’s according to the attorney representing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal who is asking the courts to stop the education experiment in its tracks.
On Wednesday, Jindal formally asked the court to stop the state board of education from administering a planned Common Core-related assessment to students next spring until all the related legal questions are hashed out, USNews.com reports.
According to Jindal, the state board of education – formally known as the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) – is violating federal law by planning to use the PARCC test in schools.
Jindal argues that because standardized tests (or assessments) influence what teachers do in the classroom, the Common Core-related PARCC test – which was created with grants and oversight by the federal government – is allowing federal bureaucrats to control curriculum.
Likewise, Smarter Balanced – the other national Common Core assessment – was also developed with federal funds and oversight.
“Common Core began as an effort to simply raise standards for students, but it has morphed into a scheme to drive education curriculum from Washington, D.C.,” Jindal said in an Aug. 6 news release.
The governor noted that the Obama administration used its Race to the Top Initiative to successfully cajole all but a handful of states into adopting the nationalized learning standards in return for potential access to extra school funding.
The governor described that as the federal government’s attempt “to accomplish indirectly through economic coercion that which the federal government is prohibited from accomplishing directly.”
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“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 instruction and instructional material.’ Implementing PARCC in Louisiana crosses the line because what’s tested is what’s taught. PARCC is a federal agent for co-opting our school’s curriculum,” Jindal added.
Jindal’s attorney, Jimmy Faircloth, identified those “bright red lines” as the General Education Provisions Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which ban the federal government from controlling school curriculum and instructional material, NOLA.com reports.
Common Core’s defenders counter that the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative only required states to adopt college- and career-ready standards and assessments, not necessarily Common Core and the PARCC (or Smarter Balanced) exam.
While that’s technically true, it’s absurd to think that states applying for Race to the Top money would convene a panel of experts to design all new learning standards from scratch rather than simply adopting the ready-made Common Core standards. The Obama administration guessed that state leaders would take the easy route, and they did.
Jindal’s lawsuit also argues that the state school board violated state law by reaching an agreement with the PARCC company to provide standardized tests to Louisiana schools without allowing other companies to bid on the job.
POLITICO adds, “In the amended (lawsuit), Jindal also says the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education never formally approved the Bayou State’s participation in PARCC. He wants the court to issue a preliminary injunction stopping the state from using PARCC materials until the court can make a decision.”