Right now, America's schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation's young students — millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core Standards will feel tougher than what they're used to. Because they are tougher.
State lawmakers have been showing an independent streak this session. Defying Gov. Bobby Jindal on some of his most defining policy positions that he’s hoping to keep on his resume as he looks beyond his time in the governor’s mansion.
What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?
"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?
"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.
No, my vote is for "standardized test."
That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.
On Wednesday, Louisiana’s capitol building was full to the gills with people representing all sides of the debate over the Common Core state standards. Associated Press Capitol Correspondent Melinda Deslatte helps explain all the hubbub.
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?
Confused about the Common Core State Standards? Join the club. That's not to say the new benchmarks in reading and math are good or bad, working smoothly or kicking up sparks as the wheels come off. It is simply an acknowledgement that, when the vast majority of U.S. states adopt a single set of educational standards all at roughly the same time, a little confusion is inevitable.
Below is a handy FAQ about Common Core. We'll continue answering your questions in the coming months. You can post them in the comments section, or on Twitter and Facebook using #commonq.
The word of the day in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday was “empowerment”, with bills giving more authority to school principals and local districts moving forward.
The “Empowered Community Schools” bill, SB 385, by Sen. Eric LaFleur (D-Ville Platte) would allow principals rated “highly effective” to basically declare themselves in charge — of hiring and firing and over school service and repair contracts.