Where’s Bobby Jindal? Mum on Common Core

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As an Iowan I’m blessed (or cursed depending on your perspective) with the ability to trip over Presidential candidates when the presidential-year Iowa Caucus rolls around.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has visited my state several times, and he is presumed to be a presidential contender, especially in light of term-limited.

He’s going to have much to answer for should he decide to run.  While the Common Core may not be the top issue in a Presidential primary, it will be a issue and possibly a wedge issue among Republicans who are seeking the nomination.  Governor Jindal, along with any other Republican governor who decides to run, will have to answer for their Common Core support.  Governor Jindal is especially in a tenuous situation having been the Governor who presided over his state’s Race to the Top application and adoption of the Common Core.

Not every Governor has that issue, but all have the opportunity to act.  The actions (or lack thereof) of Governors who run will be watched, and in a caucus state like Iowa where the grassroots pretty much decides who the winner will be it will make a difference.

They’re all going to talk about Obamacare, the 2nd Amendment, the life issue, marriage, etc.  Where you really start to see daylight between presidential candidates, in particular Republican ones, are on issues like the Common Core.

Governor Jindal could make a statement.  He could respond to parental concerns within his state, but so far nothing.  He could admit his error and lead on the issue, but we get silence instead.  He had an opportunity during his speech at CPAC last week when he talked about education, but he was mum on the topic instead focusing on his voucher program which has helped to bring the Common Core into Louisiana’s private schools.

He had another opportunity this week when he gave his speech marking the opening of the 2014 session of the Louisiana Legislature again nothing but silence.

Is he somehow hoping the issue will go away?  That would be a mistake.

And this Iowan is watching what he will do.

6 thoughts on “Where’s Bobby Jindal? Mum on Common Core

  1. Mr. Vanderhart, I hope you have very little to say about Iowa caucuses. CC rasies standards and requires more rigorous and reason based learning. How would anyone concerned about their children’s future be opposed to providing a better and more useful education for them?

    1. Only someone ignorant of what Common Core is and does could write something that mind-numbingly obtuse.

    2. How much are you paid to lobby for CC? You just spewed the talking points. No original thought whatsoever.

    3. In the Gates-funded report “The State of Standards – and the Common Core – in 2010,” the Fordham Institute reviewed and assigned a letter grade to Common Core’s ELA and Math standards. Next, they compared each individual state’s standards to the Common Core standards and assigned a grade to each state’s standards. They assigned Common Core’s ELA standards a grade of B-, the same grade they assigned to Louisiana’s ELA standards. I reviewed the 2013 NAEP 8th grade math test scores and the grades assigned to each state’s math standards. The results show that of the 14 states with the lowest NAEP scores (including Louisiana), three states received A’s for their math standards. The lowest grade was a C. Of the 13 states with the highest NAEP math scores, only one state received an A. There was one D and four F’s. The states with the highest NAEP scores had much worse standards than the states with the lowest scores. Standards do not determine a state’s ranking and performance.

      A key factor that the states with low NAEP tests scores do share in common is poverty. Twelve of the these states fall into the category of the sixteen states with the highest poverty rates in the United States. The role of poverty in Louisiana’s rankings must not be ignored. Associated with Louisiana’s high poverty are the following factors from National Kids Count Data. Louisiana ranks #44 in children living in households where no adults work, #45 in teen births, #49 in low birth-weight babies, #48 in children living in the care of grandparents, and #46 in children living in areas of concentrated poverty. These factors do affect academic performance. Academic educator Christopher Tienken has done at least two studies which concluded that childhood poverty clearly influences ultimate achievement when measured by standardized tests.

      Instead of advocating for corporate and federal control of schools, the use of tests scores for teacher accountability, private student data collection, and the standardization of knowledge via the Common Core State Standards, our leaders should be pushing to end childhood poverty. There needs to be more of an effort to provide students with stable housing and ensure that all women receive high-quality prenatal care.

      We will never fix a problem if were are unable to have an honest conversation. Therefore, to continue to place the blame of our state’s test scores on our standards while ignoring the role of poverty is not being honest.

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