Here, on Chris Wallace’s show over the weekend, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal calls Common Core a “bait and switch” and explains a lawsuit he’s filing to kill it.
Jindal is likely going to vie with Sen. David Vitter, who in less than a year will be up for Jindal’s current job, for the title of Louisiana’s No. 1 Common Core Opponent. You can expect Scott Angelle, who’s also running for Jindal’s job and will be the candidate of Jindal’s faction, to be in that mix as well.
Interestingly, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who will also be running, is backing Common Core now. From a letter to his supporters…
My decision to run for governor was based upon my belief that Louisiana needs and deserves leaders whose positions do not bend with the wind. Sticking a finger in the air to figure out which way the political winds in Washington are blowing isn’t what we deserve.
Once again students, teachers, parents and educators are being tossed around by the ever-changing gusts of political gamesmanship. Here we are, midway into the school year, and we’re still talking about pulling the rug out from under teachers and students in the classroom.
BESE has refused to do so. The Legislature has refused to do so. And the courts have refused to do so.
Now is not the time to second-guess our children’s future. I will be steadfast in my commitment to raising our education standards, maintaining teacher accountability, and working with all stakeholders to make our young people competitive.
In the end, the Common Core debate isn’t all that complicated. Jindal and Vitter, and Angelle as well, are trying to align themselves with the conservative base of the Republican Party and the middle class. Those people are the ones who may not have had an initial problem with Common Core as it was sold – namely, on the basis of it being a set of standards that would force schools to do a better job of teaching kids reading and math – but who have recoiled at the way the standards have been implemented through curriculum.
It might well be the case that a lot of what is considered Common Core, and what is making it such a toxic subject with middle-class parents that Jindal and Vitter are doing everything they can to distance themselves from Common Core, isn’t actually Common Core itself but the way the left-wing educrats who control public education are operating and would operate regardless of Common Core. In other words, the problem is public education itself rather than Common Core, and this is really nothing more than conservatives chasing their tails and not getting at the problem.
Either way, though, parents are getting homework they don’t understand and can’t help their kids with, and they want somebody’s head for that. That’s why Jindal and Vitter are off the Common Core bandwagon and it’s why Jindal is filing lawsuits and going on Sunday shows.
Will it change anything with respect to education? No. Only a complete overhaul of how public education is delivered, preferably along the lines of a wide-open marketplace, will do that. But Jindal’s people see Common Core opposition as good politics, and therefore he’s going to run with it.
And on it, as well. Jindal will announce he’s running for president in 2016 soon.