Gov. Jindal, State Superintendent at odds over Common Core

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Political analyst Jim Engster addressed the difference of opinion recently made public between Gov. Bobby Jindal and State Superintendent of Education John White. Jindal has gone on record opposing the implementation of Common Core testing in Louisiana releasing a statement Monday.

"We share the concerns of these legislators and also of parents across Louisiana. We're hopeful that legislation will move through the process this session that will address the concerns of parents or delay implementation until these concerns can be addressed. We think this course of action outlined in the legislators' letter remains a very viable option if the Legislature does not act."

White has countered Jindal's stance publicly saying a delay to Common Core plans and other testing programs that go along with it would create a major dilemma for students and teachers already expecting the change. Engster says White's public opposition to Jindal could end up costing him his job.

"They're at odds over some very basic issues regarding common core and how it's implemented and right now the governor says let's put on the brakes and not do it and John White says let's forge ahead and the question is whether the governor will forge ahead with or without John White," said Engster.

The disagreement between White and Jindal is also throwing state lawmakers for a loop. As the face of the state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, many say they expect White to go along with Jindal no matter the issue.

"It has to be confusing for the teachers, the kids and the parents throughout this area because it's confusing for me as a legislator when BESE is on one side and the governor is on the other, then it's giving mixed messages to those in the legislature," said State representative Alfred Williams.

"With the governor being a lame duck, John White is not likely to be the superintendent under the next governor so he already may be looking at options and in this case he's decided his support for common core is more important than his support for the governor," added Engster.

A number of Common Core related measures are slated for both the Senate and House Education Committees but have not yet been scheduled. On Tuesday, White received a positive evaluation by BESE at the agency's monthly meeting.

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