Legal Battles Over Common Core, Confusion Over Testing Continue

Aug 20, 2014

Gov. Bobby Jindal suspended state testing contracts in June to block the implementation of Common Core -- a set of benchmarks for what students should know at each grade level. State District Judge Todd Hernandez issued a ruling late Tuesday lifting that suspension.

But, wrangling continues over just which tests Louisiana students will be taking this year. 

State Superintendent John White is telling teachers they can expect this spring’s tests to look like what the Department of Education said they would look like back in January -- and that those tests will include English and math questions developed with the PARCC consortium of states aligning with Common Core standards.

But White couldn't say Wednesday that the confusion is over. That, he said, depends on the defendants -- Gov. Jindal, the Office of Contractual Review, and the Division of Administration -- who may still take the issue to a full trial.

“My assumption is that the trial will proceed. But my hope is that all of this focus on the courtroom ends and we can focus on the classroom and the needs of the kids," White said.

Jindal’s chief of staff says the governor will appeal Tuesday’s ruling lifting the suspension of testing contracts. Meantime, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said Wednesday the contracts are still being audited, and she said the new PARCC material is beyond their scope. So what tests does she expect will be used this year under the current contracts?

“Similar to the transitional tests that were provided last year," Nichols said.