The Common Core State Standards have become one of the most divisive issues in the state of Louisiana, comparable to gay marriage and abortion at this point.
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.
For the most part, the anti-Common Core movement seems to be gaining more traction and more public support everyday.
Out of the four gubernatorial candidates in the state, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) is the lone Common Core supporter. Meanwhile, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle (R), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite) all oppose the state standards for various reasons.
Dardenne backed Common Core early on, saying last year that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) efforts to rid the state of the standards was “an executive overreach in my view.”
Opponents to Common Core have said the standards are an intrusion of the federal government on states’ rights.
Dardenne, though, does not believe that, saying back in 2014 that Common Core is “not federal creation and it is not a federal dictate.”
Being that Angelle, Vitter and Edwards all oppose Common Core, this puts Dardenne in an odd situation.
Vitter and Angelle have already mapped out an effort to get rid of Common Core, which is sure not to go over well with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), which is stacked with pro-Common Core representatives.
Nonetheless, Dardenne’s support for Common Core may not hurt him at all, as he will rake in the business community, as they in majority support the standards, and take all of the pro-Common Core vote.
The anti-Common Core movement may be blown out of proportion sometimes in the media and those who support the standards are bound to be more quiet about their view, considering it is such a divisive issue.
At the same time, Vitter, Angelle and Edwards will all try to knock Dardenne’s campaign by playing up the fact that the anti-Common Core movement is a bipartisan effort.
But, Dardenne will have some ammunition ready to fire back, considering Vitter and Jindal both once supported Common Core.