Apr 14, 2014 17:50 Our Views: Who am I? Why am I here? Our Views: Who am I? Why am I here? Advocate story April 14, 2014 Comments Our governor is a very bright man, having been educated in the Ivy League and having been a Rhodes Scholar. But at age 42, his memory may be starting to give him trouble. We worry because of several statements he’s made lately about the new and higher academic standards adopted for Louisiana schools. Gov. Bobby Jindal surely recalls 2010, when he had been governor for a couple of years, when the new academic standards were adopted. Yes, it’s been a while, but not that long ago, yet last year the governor gave out a mealymouthed statement about the Common Core State Standards. He’s now followed up with another statement critical of what he called a “one-size-fits-all test” for the Common Core standards. Now, we think that the governor favors the standards, because he was governor when they were adopted. He had directly appointed several members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which adopted the standards. Though he had not hired then-Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek, the latter was a Republican and someone we remember as an ally of the governor’s on most issues. If the governor does not recall that he had effective control of every aspect of this policy, then surely it is only a data-retrieval problem — not, God forbid, an act of political cowardice now that some critics of Common Core have emerged on the political right. Take the tests issue, which is only an issue because the governor has now made it into an issue. The test for Common Core standards is the work of the laboriously named Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. We are not sure that the governor recalls that the development of the PARCC tests — a set of tests, not one-size-fits-all — has been part of a national movement led by states such as Louisiana. The idea is such tests will be cheaper to administer than every state spending millions to develop their own tests; several states have tried, and found it an expensive diversion. And, the PARCC tests will allow the progress of students in Louisiana to be compared with those in other states. “The world has changed,” commented the Council for a Better Louisiana. “Students need to know more and be able to do more to succeed in the workforce and in their careers. And the states, on their own, figured out that to do that we need to raise academic standards and develop next-generation tests to ensure our kids are learning the skills they need to prosper.” We note that Chas Roemer, a Jindal ally and president of BESE, said: “The one-size-fits-all is neither what we proposed nor what we practice.” So we’re not sure what is going on here. The governor is far too young to be fuzzy on subjects like this.