Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told MSNBC this morning that he was originally thought classroom standards were “a great idea,” and is “still for rigor in the classroom,” but wants Common Core out of his state because “it has become something very different than than what it started.”
“Now it’s become driven by the federal government, the federal bureaucracy. It was never intended to be a top-down approach. And the federal government has never made curriculum decisions in our local schools. I think it’s a mistake to do that,” Jindal said.
“A lot of times people who are for Common Core try to say, well, if you’re against this, you’re against standards. That’s simply not true. I’m for tests. I’m for standards. I just don’t want the federal government driving these standards,” he added.
“As a parent, I look at the math standards. I look at some of the reading text, and I’m very worried about my kids doing these things. I think it would have been better if they had slowed down, let the teachers, let the parents have more involvement, have more transparency. I think they have rushed to do this. So I think the idea of standards is good.”
Jindal acknowledged that “historically Louisiana has not done well, but recently we’ve implemented very aggressive reform, so that, for example, in New Orleans, 90 percent of our kids are now in charter schools.”
“We have doubled the percentage doing reading and math on grade level in five years. We have got the highest ever graduation rate in our high schools,” he said. “…We’ve still got work to do. I’m not saying that we’re where we want to be, but we’re doing better than we’ve done before because we’ve done things like charter schools. We’ve done things like high- stakes testing. We do merit evaluations of our teachers. We do school choice. We empower parents.”
“I’m all for reforms, and I’m all for accountability. I think it’s important…. My problem with Common Core is, again, the Federal Department of Education, Arne Duncan, through Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind waivers, through funding threats has made this into a federal takeover of our local curriculum. That’s what’s not acceptable.”
Education reform will likely be a top issue if Jindal decides to run for president.
The governor said he’s “thinking and praying about it, won’t make a decision until after November.”
“If I were to decide to run, I certainly think that our country is hungry for a big change in direction, not incremental change, especially when it comes to restoring the American dream for our children and grandchildren,” he said. “…We need to fix those things. We need a stronger foreign policy. But there will be time after November to make those decisions.”