Parents express frustration over Louisiana fight on Common Core

Common Core battle continues

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The gloves are off between the heavyweights who will decide the future of Common Core in Louisiana.

As the school year approaches, students and their parents can only watch as Gov. Bobby Jindal and state education leaders fight over the issue.

Parents listened to speakers provide information on the Common Core plan Tuesday night at First United Methodist Church. Tangent Rheams, who has a daughter at Scotlandville Middle Magnet, was at the meeting and said she wants to know how the standardized testing plan will affect students in Louisiana.

"She's going to be in eighth grade and I want to know how it will affect her with LEAP test or are we going into, I think, the PARCC?" Rheams asked. "I don't know if they'll be working together or is it changing over to something totally new?"

Earlier in the day, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) announced its plans to join a lawsuit against Jindal. The lawsuit claims Jindal's administration is unlawfully delaying the implementation of Common Core in the state. Jindal's outside legal counsel, Jimmy Faircloth, saw it differently, saying PARCC, which is a federal grant program to develop test questions, is an infringement on state's rights. Faircloth used that premise to file his own countersuit on Jindal's behalf.

"The PARCC document, for lack of a better description, is being used as a tool to essentially federalize education policy in the state," Faircloth said.

The Jindal administration lawsuit did not intimidate BESE President Chas Roemer, who labeled the move as politics at its worst.

"It's a political strategy, as all of their other maneuvers are, as pulling out of PARCC is, as pulling out of Common Core is," Roemer said. "It's all about their politics. I've made that clear and they confirm that day in and day out."

The back and forth posturing between BESE and Jindal is doing nothing to comfort Rheams, who will prepare for the new school year as if Common Core is still coming.

"Once we know what to expect, then we can finally work with our children with that. It's so up in the air now you don't know which way to go," Rheams added.

The Common Core information meeting was hosted by 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge. More meetings are scheduled throughout the area for the remainder of the week.

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