As the Common Core educational standards continue to be hotly debated in some parts of Louisiana, Baton Rouge school officials said Thursday they are determined to make the district's curriculum more rigorous and they want to hire a consultant to help them do that.
“Irrespective of what happens with the Common Core, we still have to press our students and everyone around this notion of how we increase rigor,” East Baton Rouge School System Superintendent Bernard Taylor said at a School Board committee meeting Thursday.
The district is evaluating consultants for that task. Taylor in June proposed the Pittsburgh-based Institute for Learning, but School Board members shot that down, reluctant to pay for a contract that would have been about $2.7 million over four years.
Instead, the board decided to issue a request for proposals for the job. Eleven companies applied, and a group of principals and other district officials are working to narrow that list down to about three.
Those finalists will give presentations, and the selection committee will make a recommendation to the School Board. It could be one company, or the district could try another arrangement, such as hiring two companies and having them each handle different academic subjects.
None of the applicants were named or discussed during Thursday's meeting, but representatives of the selection committee said the potential costs ranged from $900,000 to more than $3 million. Cost is one of the factors being used to pick finalists, selection committee members said.