Wednesday, 18 March 2015 20:52

Jindal, Louisiana Department of Education in Common Core PR battle

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common-coreThe Louisiana Department of Education and the state's governor, Bobby Jindal, are engaged in a PR war of words over the issue of Common Core.

Jindal held a press conference outlining his approach to remove Common Core from Louisiana.  The DOE, provided an update today on the testing this week.


Here is a press release from Jindal and below that is a release from DOE:

Today, Governor Jindal released a plan to remove Common Core from Louisiana and replace it with high-quality Louisiana standards while ensuring that Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) contracts, Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), and Cooperative Endeavor Agreements (CEAs) do not hand control of Louisiana schools to third-party entities or the federal government.

The plan will also replace the PARCC test, prohibit the collection of biometric information from students, and ensure that BESE, like all state agencies, is subject to the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

Governor Jindal emphasized that this package of legislation will help to address the growing concern and frustration surrounding Common Core and the PARCC assessment, as more and more parents opt out of these tests and seek clarity for their children’s academic future.

Governor Jindal said, “This legislation will help us get Common Core out of Louisiana once and for all. We will not accept this one-sized-fits-all approach to our children’s education. The package of legislation will make clear that the federal government or third parties do not have control over Louisiana’s schools, and help ensure that Louisiana parents and teachers create Louisiana standards and curriculum.”

First, this plan will immediately remove Common Core from Louisiana, and establish a clear and transparent standards adoption process that includes parents, educators, and school leaders. 

No standards adoption or review process exists in current law, which allows BESE to circumvent the public process, as the Board did when they adopted Common Core as “guidelines,” in 2010 and failed to promulgate the standards through the APA rulemaking process. There is no guarantee that the current BESE standards revision process will include the public or be controlled within Louisiana using Louisiana teachers.

Prior to 2010, BESE worked with groups of Louisiana teachers to review standards by grade level and subject area. This legislation will return to the pre-Common Core standards adoption process—all the while making the process more transparent and easier to understand.  While these new Louisiana standards are being developed, Louisiana schools will use the 2004-2005 Grade Level Expectations and the LEAP and iLEAP will be administered with a replenished questions bank. This will bring clarity for teachers who are on the front lines and educating our children in the classroom.

Under the new adoption process, every elected official involved in education (including the Legislature, school board members and BESE members) will vote on the draft standards and give parents the opportunity to weigh in and express their concerns. Ultimately, the standards will be approved by majority vote of both houses of the Legislature through an up or down vote with recommendations sent to BESE for amendments.

These new standards will also set minimum requirements for English Language Arts by giving equal consideration to elements that have been minimized in the Common Core standards, like classic literature and complete works of literature. The new standards will also set minimum requirements for the use of math algorithms that consistently result in a correct answer and follow traditional formulations to combat Common Core’s use of what Governor Jindal called “fuzzy math,” ensuring students are learning both how to achieve the right answer and the right answer.

Second, this plan will prohibit BESE from entering into contracts, MOUs, CEAs, or agreements that violate Louisiana’s control of education.

This plan prohibits state funds from being spent on state contracts, MOUs, CEAs or agreements between BESE, the State Superintendent of Education, or any employee of the Department of Education and any third-party nongovernmental entity that has competing authority over education in Louisiana, unless expressly provided for in law.

Additionally, no state or public funds may be spent on any contract, MOU, CEA, or waiver agreement entered into by a public education body in Louisiana that constitutes a shift in policy in response to the federal regulation or financial incentives from the federal government, unless expressly provided for in law. All MOUs or agreements in place on the effective date of the act shall be amended to comply with the act within 60 days or be considered null and void.

This legislation will prohibit any state employee, state education board member, legislator, or executive branch staff member from receiving any thing of economic value from a contract with BESE or the Department of Education. BESE members and the State Superintendent will also be prohibited from participating in any organization that requires adherence to or adoption of standards, conditions, or policies as a condition of membership or participation. It will also establish a 2-year “cooling off” period for these same employees.

The Jindal administration will also be working closely with other authors on additional legislation that will target Common Core while ensuring that the state provides high-quality Louisiana standards. This plan to repeal and replace Common Core with Louisiana standards will build on Governor Jindal’s ongoing efforts to fight Common Core:

• Filed lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Department of Education;
• Joined legislators in their lawsuit to require the LDE and BESE to follow the law and comply with the Louisiana Administrative Procedures Act procedures;
• Issued an Executive Order protecting freedom of speech and the rights of teachers after school administrators quieted them for speaking out against Common Core;
• Issued an Executive order allowing parents to exercise their choice to opt their children out of the PARCC exam and urging BESE to protect school districts from consequences by authorizing alternate assessments.




Louisiana PARCC Daily Update - Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Testing Information:

  • More than 320,000 Louisiana students will participate in the PARCC assessments for grades 3-8 this week.
  • More than 1,200 school sites will administer PARCC tests this week.
  • More than 4,342,500 PARCC tests have been administered thus far this Spring.
  • In other PARCC states, on Tuesday, test administration numbers were as follows:
    • 275,100 tests administered in Illinois
    • 248,300 tests administered in New Jersey
    • 117,100 tests administered in Maryland
    • 108,200 tests administered in Arkansas
    • 63,700 tests administered in Ohio
    • 53,400 tests administered in Mississippi
    • 51,600 tests administered in New Mexico
    • 26,600 tests administered in Massachusetts
    • 23,700 tests administered in Rhode Island
    • 9,900 tests administered in Washington DC

LDOE Guidance and Support:

  • Number of emails received and answered via the assessment inbox since January 1, 2015 - More than 1,770
  • Number of calls received and answered via the assessment hotline since March 2, 2015 - 252


Today's Test Session: English Language Arts Narrative Writing Task (Estimated time students will test is 40 minutes)

This session asks students to read a literary passage, answer five multiple choice questions about the passage, and then create a narrative related to the passage (e.g., finish the story, retell the story in another narrative form such as a journal entry, or retell the story from a different point of view). This task offers students a chance to demonstrate their story-telling skills by using narrative techniques including dialogue, description, and plot development.

                                                          Progression of Test Questions                                                                                                                                                                                     

EXAMPLE: Grade 6 ELA (Writing a Narrative)



Think about what might happen next.

Write a multi-paragraph story for your teacher that finishes the gemstone passage. Use what you know about the passage's setting, characters, and conflict as you finish the plot. Use details from the passage to help tell your story.

In the passage from Magic Elizabeth, the author creates a vivid setting and two distinct characters, Mrs. Chipley and Sally. Think about the details the author uses to establish setting and the characters.

Write an original story about what happens when Sally arrives at Aunt Sarah's house. In your story, be sure to use what you have learned about the setting and the characters as you tell what happens next.

Media Sources

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