Monday, 22 September 2014 20:16

Jindal misleads in his Legislative Auditor Common Core Spin

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state-common-coreThe Jindal administration must want the Louisiana voters and presumably the Republican primary voters to believe that a just-released Louisiana Legislative Auditor report supports the governor's already-absurd position on Common Core.


The governor has already failed in state court tries and has filed a frivilous federal lawsuit in his latest PR stunt to link Common Core to the Obama administration, in his repeated attempts to be the anti-Obamanizer, in the hopes that his flailing presidential campaign gets some steam with right-wing republican voters.

How else can one explain the strained logic emanating from a Jindal press release today.  The Jindal e-missive today came in conjunction with today's auditor's report.  Jindal spins the report about as far as a Presidential campaign would legally allow.  In doing so, the release also shows the full extent that the governor is willing to go to make the world believe that black equals white, as long as it suits his campaign narrative.

In the e-release's title, the Jindal administration states, in bold, “Legislative Auditor Declares Common Core Standards Drive Curriculum”

Following this title, the Jindal press release states:

“In a report issued today by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, the nonpartisan organization declared that Common Core Standards are driving curriculum in the classroom. (emphasis ours)

Citing challenges states and schools have had with the implementation, the Legislative Auditor states, “Implementation of the standards has been an ongoing challenge as states, districts, and individual schools have worked to develop curricula and put together textbook lists, instructional materials, lesson plans, and professional development training to help them meet the standards.”

The Legislative Auditor also states that the “hindrances” of implementation include “the lack of curricula, textbooks, instructional materials, and assessments aligned with the [Common Core] standards.”

The Legislative Auditor notes that in order to meet the Common Core Standards, “state education authorities and local districts have revamped their curricula, while teachers have rewritten their lesson plans and gathered new books and instructional materials.”

While the Legislative Auditor says “Standards are not the same thing as curricula, textbooks, lesson plans, or classroom activities and assignments,” the report clearly declares that standards drive curriculum.

Sounds convincing, right?

Except, despite what the governor wants us to think, the word “drive” does not even appear in the report, nor does the word “drives” nor  even “driving”.

So, literally, the Jindal press release is stating a fact that simply does not exist, literally, if at all.   

Starting from that point, the Jindalese proceeds from hilariously absurd to downright misleading.   The Jindal administration statement says, “the report clearly declares that standards drive curriculum”.  However,  if the report fails to use the word “drive or drives”, how can Jindal administration say that the report “clearly declares that standards drive curriculum”  or drives anything at all?

The only thing that is abundantly clear, is Jindal's utter transparent efforts to muddy up the report’s findings that fails to support his world view.

Oh, and the word “drives”?  That term is clearly consistent with his campaign narrative:

"The proponents of Common Core will tell you that it’s simply about one test and about standards, but that’s a ruse," Jindal said Wednesday. "Common Core is about controlling curriculum. Educators know that what’s tested is what’s taught. Make no mistake -- Common Core tests will drive curriculum."

The press release does not end here.  Instead, this follows:

GovernorJindal’s Assistant Chief of Staff and Education Policy Advisor Stafford Palmieri said, “We appreciate the Legislative Auditor’s report as it confirms what parents, educators, legislators and the Governor have been saying all along – standards drive curriculum. In black and white, the Auditor states that states, districts and educators have had to revamp curriculum, lesson plans and learning materials to align with Common Core Standards.

“It’s time for the proponents of Common Core to admit that Common Core equals curriculum. What are they hiding from? If Common Core supporters are proud of the standards, they should be proud that it drives curriculum. Instead, education bureaucrats, elitists and the intelligentsia are trying to wordsmith and dupe parents and educators. It won’t work. Parents and educators are smarter than that.”

Holy Wordsmith!  Talk about trying to dupe parents.

The educators, Jindal’s own education superintendent and hand-selected education board members are actually claiming the opposite than what Jindal now pretends.    He might call them education "bureaucrats, elitists and ingelligentsia", but these are his hand-picked "elitists".  So, is his handpicked head of the business industry who supports common core.  True, some parents and teachers agree with the governor but not the parents and teachers and board members who have sued the Governor because of his abusive Common core political grab bag.  Also, the legislature actually could have said no to Jindal and Common Core this past legislative session.  However, in its collective wisdom, it did what the people wanted.  It refused to back Jindal’s politically-driven “born again” anti-common core maneuvers.

If the report is definitive about anything at all, it is this—“Standards are not the same thing as curricula, textbooks, lesson plans, or classroom activities and assignments” (our emphasis)

Yet, despite this very specific statement, Jindal and Palmieri, extends their manufactured argument beyond logical absurdities by stating-- “It’s time for the proponents of Common Core to admit that Common Core equals curriculum”. (our emphasis)

Let me see if I understand this thinking.  The auditor is stating in black and white—standards are NOT the same thing as curricula.  Thus, if standards are not the same as curricula, then, how can Common Core standards EQUAL curriculum  as our Rhodes Scholar campaigner ever-so anxiously wants us to believe?

Perhaps the question to ask might be—what is the relationship between the Common core standards and curricula, if any?

The answer, in part, is found in the Legislative Auditor’s report Jindal and his “yes men”  should read in the section “Description and Examples of the Standards”.  This section provides examples of  Common Core questions and the reasons for the standards.

At the end of that section, the report states, “Among the reasons for the additional focus on literacy are complaints from higher education leaders that students are ill-prepared to handle the type of academic reading and analysis necessary to succeed in college. Business and industry leaders also have pointed out the necessity for employees to be able to read and understand the technical writings unique to each field.

If any state should be wanting to keep up with the Jones’s, you would think it would be Louisiana and you would hope its governor would be leading the charge.

A recent study by the US Chamber of Commerce found “Louisiana was still at the bottom where it has always resided in the history of education in this nation. The state's 2013 Advanced Placement pass rate was worse than any state except Mississippi.

Here's more:

Pass rates were even lower in subjects that the chamber considers important for the 21stcentury economy: only 30 in 10,000 students passed a foreign language AP test, and 4 in 10,000 passed the AP computer science test.

Moreover, the tests that Louisiana is using is only deceiving the students, the faculty and the parents into thinking they are performing competitively.

In 2011, pass rates for Louisiana's LEAP and iLEAP tests were much higher than the national rates. That gave an inaccurately rosy picture of student performance, said the chamber, which awarded a D-plus for "truth in advertising."

Jindal’s press release is a blatant example why Louisiana must do better than that of which the governor apparently wants of us.  

For too long, Louisiana students have been dumbed down by its leaders.   Here, Jindal wants the world to believe the Legislative auditor has clearly stated or even implied a fact which the auditor simply did not.  Anyone who could do the slightest degree of critical thinking, which Common Core is designed for students to do, would realize that what the report states is not what Team Jindal is spinning it for us to believe.

Today’s press release is further evidence that in the world of Jindal, there is only one black and white-- his aspirations to be President no matter  what or whom might be  damaged in his bizarre selfish quest. 

He will discover soon that parents and educators are much smarter than what he thinks or even worse, much smarter than what he wants them to be.

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Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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