State Representative Joe Harrison of Houma wants the people to decide whether to elect the next state superintendent of education, or let the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education keep making that appointment. Harrison is the author of that constitutional amendment, now headed to the House floor.
House Education Committee members worked into the night Wednesday, taking testimony on bills that would halt or slow implementation of Common Core state standards and the accompanying standardized tests.
Louisiana is one of 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, that signed onto Common Core. The state is also one of 17 in a consortium using the PARCC tests to evaluate student progress on the new standards.
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?
The state's top school board has dropped plans to do away with requirements for counselors and librarians at public schools.
The Dept. of Education had recommended the change as part of a continuing push to give more flexibility to local administrators. The reversal came as a surprise to the dozens of critics who flocked to the BESE meeting to voice impassioned opposition Tuesday.
The House Appropriations Committee is questioning the number and necessity of contracts that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains with private entities.
At a committee meeting Tuesday Chairman Jim Fannin told BESE President Chas Roemer that contracts should be reviewed more often, so that the board can ensure the funds are being spent wisely. BESE cut costs last year by reducing the number of meetings from ten to seven a year, which gave them less time to review contracts.