According to the 2014 Louisiana Survey, not many people in Louisiana are all that agitated about new and higher public education standards.
But for those for whom Common Core are fighting words, the rhetoric has flowed, sometimes overflowing the bounds of common sense.
The survey showed about half the respondents statewide were unfamiliar with Common Core and its controversies, a finding that suggests lawmakers shouldn’t feel under pressure to make changes in the standards. The standards were, after all, adopted in 2010 by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and have been in the process of development in classrooms since. That is a process that will take several years. We think it is in good hands without new legislation this year.
But because of the recent agitation against it, including misplaced belief that the federal government is taking over local schools, lawmakers have dropped in a slew of Common Core bills.
We hope that legislators, in light of the new survey, attempt to put the issue in perspective, and avoid an overreaction to the Common Core controversies.
We agree with the considerable array of educators and experts from business and public policy groups that schools can benefit from higher academic standards.
The politics can make it difficult for lawmakers, but sometimes wisdom is about avoiding the temptation to yield to an agitated crowd in front of you. The job of a legislator is to avoid action on emotional issues when, as in this case, legislative action is likely to do more harm than good.