Common Core Under the Edwards Administration in Louisiana

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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is in his second month in office and it is apparent he will not fight Common Core like his predecessor Bobby Jindal did. He has already dropped the lawsuits the Jindal administration initiated, but in doing so caused some turmoil with the state’s Attorney General as The News Star reported earlier this month.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday he will drop the appeal of a Bobby Jindal-era federal lawsuit seeking to block Common Core nationally, but new Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said late Thursday that would be his decision to make.

“As Louisiana attorney general, I am intervening in this case, and I will determine if it will proceed,” Landry said.

Richard Carbo, the governor’s communications director, fired back.

“As far as the office of the governor is concerned, this case is over,” Carbo said. “If the Attorney General feels the need to pursue further litigation, he will proceed using his own resources.”

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is set to vote March 5th on proposed revised ELA and Math academic standards. The review committee took the Common Core State Standards as the starting point and went from there.

I have NOT done a through review of these standards, but from scanning through the crosswalk document for the ELA standards it appears that what was mostly done was a revision of 81 standards, of those I read it appeared to be mainly tweaking the language of the original standards. This represents roughly 12% of the ELA standards. It still places an emphasis on information text so I can’t say that I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen.

I could see there was definitely more work done on the math standards as I perused the crosswalk document. There were three new standards added. One elementary math standard was moved to a different grade. The high school math standards were reordered to reflect Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II to do away with integrated math which I believe is a good change. Three standards were deleted. There were considerably more standards revised than what I saw with the ELA standards – 137 in all.  I think it’s unfortunate that like Common Core the draft Louisiana math standards stop at Algebra II.

The ELA standards appear to be closer to a rebranding while the math standards had more work done. I’ll let others better qualified judge the quality of the new standards. All of this may be for naught if they continue to use PARCC as an assessment anyway.

I know many Louisiana parents were frustrated with how the review process went. I’m interested to hear from Louisiana parents, what are you hearing about the new standards? What is your opinion of them?

Update: J.R. Wilson, a TAE advocate and math expert, made these observations in an email after looking at the K-8 2015-2016 Louisiana Standards, Common Core State Standards and draft standards for Louisiana in math:

At the second grade level, the three sets of standards are presented in the same order and are identical.  Absolutely no changes, additions, or omissions. 

At the kindergarten level, there are three standards that differ from the Common Core State Standards slightly but not significantly.  One standard has been added for LA that is not in the CCSS.  In essence they are the same standards with much identical wording except for three standards.  The difference is minor and negligible.  The rest of the standards are presented in the same order and are identical. 

Like the Common Core, the LA standards don’t require the standard algorithm until grade 4.