Like Many States, Louisiana Is Continuing to Build on the Common Core Framework

Louisiana officials duped residents by rebranding the “despised” Common Core State Standards as the state’s own learning goals, an Everything-PR articles alleges. “Common Core is an education standard [sic] from the federal government… In spite of the claims that 20 percent of the original standards had been modified, less than three percent was changed.”

The revisions, the piece argues, will subject students to “dumbed down, inappropriate, nationalized and globalized pseudo-education… It will take years to undo the damage they [Louisiana officials] have already done.”

Far from “dumbing down” students, Louisiana’s decision to review, refine and build on the Common Core framework ensures the state’s schools have rigorous and clear learning goals that prepare students for college and careers—a course most states across the country are taking.

“Despite concerted efforts to derail implementation of Common Core State Standards and the high-quality assessments that support them, states have weighed the evidence and opted to build on the framework set by these rigorous, comparable education standards,” Jim Cowen explained earlier this year.

One reason states are sticking with the Common Core is because the standards are built on the best evidence of what students need to know and be able to achieve at each grade level to graduate high school fully prepared for college and careers.

“It is virtually impossible to produce a set of K-12 academic standards that both bear no resemblance to Common Core, and adequately prepare students for college and career,” Karen Nussle wrote last year.

Nussle’s point is borne out by the evidence from the few states that have taken the “repeal-and-replace” route. “Replacing the Common Core State Standards invariably leads to either modest adjustments and renaming…or, academic standards that are inferior to the Common Core,” a white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success explains.

In Oklahoma, the only state to replace the Common Core with substantially different learning goals, the resulting standards represent a step backwards for students and teachers. An independent analysis concluded, “These standards will disadvantage Oklahoma students compared to their peers in other states; students in Oklahoma will be less prepared to successfully enter college and careers.”

Louisiana took a pragmatic approach, which involved hundreds of educators and public input, to improve on the Common Core to ensure it meet local students’ needs—exactly as the standards were designed. And contrary to the headline’s suggestion, there continues to be broad support for high, consistent academic expectations, both in Louisiana and across the country.

“The new standards maintain high learning expectations in Louisiana and will keep our state’s progress moving forward as we prepare our students for college and careers,” said Jim Garvey, president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The end product, he added, is “Louisiana-specific standards that meet the unique needs of our students and our state.”

“The upshot is we believe the standards remain strong for Louisiana students” says Stephanie Desselle of the Council for a Better Louisiana. “They will help prepare students for college and careers.”

By contrast, former Governor Bobby Jindal’s past efforts to repeal the Common Core in Louisiana created uncertainty and disruption for schools. After rejecting one of Gov. Jindal’s lawsuits, a judge noted his efforts had done “irreparable harm” to students.