David Vitter: ‘Common Core Standards Are Strong, Positive’

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who is running for the governorship in 2015, says he strongly supports the controversial Common Core State Standards, an issue that is bound to put him at odds with some conservatives.

The Common Core State Standards were adopted by the state in 2010, encompassing English language arts (ELA) and math. Full implementation of the standards did not come until this past school year, bypassing a transitional year that was originally planned.

Today, Vitter said the Common Core standards are “very strong, significant, positive standards.”

“I support the strong standards Louisiana now has in place and think Gov. Jindal’s attempt to start from scratch right before the new school year is very disruptive,” the senator said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Vitter spoke positively about Common Core on C-SPAN, which you can watch here. He begins speaking about Common Core around eight minutes into the video.

Most Common Core opponents say the standards strip away all local and state control over curriculum, opting for a federally recognized education system. But, Vitter said that while he supports Common Core, he also strongly supports local and state control.

“I would take an aggressive, hands-on approach (to) get curriculum and implementation right. I’d ensure the state and locals maintain complete control over curriculum, lesson plans and reading lists and make good decisions on those. And I’d demand effective planning and preparation with parents, school boards and teachers,” Vitter said in his statement to AP.

Vitter’s first announcement of his position on Common Core come as Gov. Bobby Jindal has come out against the standards, professing he will do everything possible to rid the state of the standards. Meanwhile, State Superintendent John White and BESE still support Common Core, leading the two opposing sides to head to court over the issue.

Republican Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who is also running for governor, opposes Common Core, while State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite) supports the state standards.

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