U.S. Sen. David Vitter was right in August to stand up for Common Core academic standards in Louisiana. Now it's December, four months closer to his 2015 gubernatorial run, and he's backing away. What a disappointment. Sen. Vitter had a chance to show leadership on this issue and calm people who are wrongly fearful of federal intrusion in Louisiana schools. Instead, he is flip-flopping. He has joined Gov. Bobby Jindal's misguided opposition to Common Core standards, which would allow Louisiana students to be compared to their peers nationally in reading, writing and math.
The editorial goes on to describe how the standards are getting tangled up in the political aspirations of two of the state’s most prominent public officials:
Yes, the governor has been disruptive. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Common Core standards until he realized that position wasn't popular with the conservative voters he is trying to woo for a presidential campaign. Then he started trying to force the state Board of Elementary & Secondary Education to drop Common Core. Sen. Vitter, a Republican and a staunch conservative, offered a refreshing counterpoint to Gov. Jindal's political pandering. But this week, the senator backtracked: "After listening to literally thousands of parents, teachers, and others since then, I don't believe that we can achieve that Louisiana control, buy-in, and success I'm committed to if we stay in Common Core. Instead, I think we should get out of Common Core ... and establish an equally or more rigorous Louisiana system of standards and testing." That is a false choice. Louisiana teachers and school administrators have worked for five years to tailor Common Core for our schools. Each school district is crafting its own classroom approach….Business leaders see the higher standards as a key to the state's economic prosperity and to better opportunities for residents.
That important work should continue, and the state’s teachers and community stakeholders—newspapers and business leaders—are making that case loudly.
Michael Vaughn was the founding Communications Director of Education Post. Prior to that, Mike worked for 18 years in the communications offices of two urban school districts. He served in a variety of communications roles for the Chicago Public Schools starting in 1996, shortly after Mayor Richard M. Daley took control of CPS, and eventually served as the district's Communications Director until ...