While maybe in poker you can beat something with nothing, that’s not true in politics, as detractors of usage of the Common Core State Standards in Louisiana found out yesterday in the House Education Committee.
A pair of bills met with defeat at the hands of the committee that would have significantly altered or derailed for some time, if not entirely defeated, the program. Developed under the auspices of the nation’s governors with input from education administrators, teachers, and academicians, CCSS sets up conceptual benchmarks that students are to attain, concentrating on critical thinking ability, while leaving content up to states. Having the same set of concepts as learning goals enables across states comparative testing under four different systems, which are related to standards used to test internationally. Louisiana previously committed to participation in the one known as Partnership for Assessment Readiness for College and Careers.
One bill, HB 558 by state Rep. Cameron Henry, would have removed the state’s participation from PARCC and, unless replaced by other actions with participation in one of the other three systems, would have mooted much of the utility of CCSS, for while the advantage of a program to stimulate critical thinking would have remained, no longer would results be comparable and additional data given to assessing how well educators were doing, making it difficult to ensure performance of a quality job. The other bill, HB 381 by state Rep. Brett Geymann, would have put a moratorium on CCSS implementation (which would have gone into effect after this year’s trial run and testing) and launch a process that could come up with something completely different, with no guarantee that this could be done, or could come up with anything better, or have any accountability to whatever result it produced.