Parents Mobilizing Over Common Core

Mar 21, 2014

Credit Bill Feig / The Advocate

Whether you love it--like Vera Collins of Jefferson Parish, who says, “Louisiana’s Common Core State Standards is vital to making the dream a reality”—or hate it, like Ralph Roshto of Lacombe, who says, “Supporting Common Core is like a chicken supporting Colonel Sanders,”—Common Core is driving parents to the state capitol in droves.

But just what is this education issue that’s polarizing Louisiana moms and dads?

“This is really part of a long process to modernize the education system in our state and bring it up to date,” explains State Superintendent John White.

45 states and the District of Columbia signed on to participate in Common Core, which is a system of standards designed to level the playing field, so to speak.

It is not “curriculum”, however. Think of “curriculum” as the game plan or playbook, guiding what’s done in each game—or grade. Common Core State Standards are really the win-loss record at the end of each season, and each team—or state—is able to compare student records to see who is best.

Opponents, like Roshto, see Common Core as an overreach coming from the federal government.

“You will not take OUR control of OUR children and surrender it to the federal government,” Roshto told members of the House Education Committee this week.

White, on the other hand, insists that it is a state-led initiative.

“In 2009, Common Core State Standards were created,” White says. “And Louisiana was one of the creating states--really one of the first states participating in that.”

BESE adopted Common Core in 2010, and the Legislature made it part of state law in 2012. It’s scheduled to go into effect this year…unless parents can convince lawmakers to forfeit the game.