Common Core

Common Core Reading: 'The New Colossus'

Nov 11, 2014

Part 1 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.

The Common Core State Standards are changing what many kids read in school. They're standards, sure — not curriculum. Teachers and districts still have great latitude when it comes to the "how" of reading instruction, but...

The Core standards explicitly require students to read "complex" material, and the fact is, many kids simply weren't doing that before the Core. What were they doing?

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. 

A Tale Of Two Polls

Aug 20, 2014

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?

PDK/Gallup

UPDATE: Judge Todd Hernandez issued a ruling late Tuesday in favor of Common Core supporters. The written ruling lifts Gov. Bobby Jindal's suspension of the contracts for tests to be administered this school year. Read the ruling

A group of parents and educators — later joined by the state school board — sued the Jindal administration last month after the governor suspended contracts for test materials aligned with Common Core education standards. A state judge heard arguments in the case Monday. 

In a preliminary hearing Friday, a state judge has rejected a bid by 17 state lawmakers to immediately halt implementation of Common Core in Louisiana. 


Guest host Erica Crenshaw, President & CEO of Accounting and Finance Firm Execute Now, fills in for Jim today while he's away on vacation. 

Ken Campbell, President of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and Caroline Roemer Shirley President & CEO of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools both join Erica in the studio for the day's first segment to discuss the state of education in Louisiana.

Also, Ascension Parish Councilman Chris Loar discusses the infrastructure growth in Ascension Parish, how to keep economic growth within Ascension Parish as opposed to letting it continue to go to East Baton Rouge Parish, and much more on the present state and future of Ascension Parish. 

And lastly, Megan Shannon the owner of the Center for Musical Arts talks with Erica about the upcoming open house ceremony on Saturday August 16 from 11:00am-2:00pm that will be celebrating the Center for Musical Arts One Year Anniversary. The event will also serve to inform people of the classes they have to offer for both kids and adults.


The Common Core State Standards have become a political hot potato. In some cases, a punching bag. (Pick your cliche.) But the fact remains that, in 43 states and the District of Columbia, the standards are being used — and big changes in what we expect of young students mean many teachers are also having to rethink what and how they teach.

Competing lawsuits were filed over the Common Core state standards in Louisiana this week, and specifically over the contracts for testing related to those standards.

Melinda Deslatte, capitol correspondent for the Associated Press, has been following the back and forth.


Columnist for The Advocate Quin Hillyer and Director for the Louisiana Budget Project Jan Moller join Jim for the better part of today's show to discuss recent updates concerning Common Core, and much, much more.

Also, Executive Director of BR Walls Project Casey Phillips talks with Jim about the projects and murals his non-profit has set up around the city. 


Disclosure: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a financial supporter of NPR’s education reporting.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is perhaps best known for funding global health programs, but in the U.S., it has focused largely on education.

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