Letter: Common Core no conspiracy

There is considerable misunderstanding regarding Louisiana’s participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative sponsored by the National Governors Association. It is not a conspiracy of the federal government to take over the educational system and circumvent states’ rights, as some would have you believe. These standards were developed by a voluntary collaborative of 46 states, in an effort to increase student academic performance across the country.

America’s student achievement suffers in comparison to other countries. Until Louisiana implemented massive educational reforms, our student performance was ranked at 48th or 49th in our own country. If our students can’t compete nationally, there is no way they can hope to compete in an increasingly global society. It is no wonder concerned educators and civic leaders demand change.

The Common Core is simply a set of standards establishing what every student should and needs to know. Although the state adopted the Common Core standards, each public school system has the authority to design its own curriculum and select its own instructional materials to meet these standards. That is about as far as you can get from a federal, or even a state, mandated curriculum.

It is imperative that we improve educational outcomes and opportunities for all children. Let’s support our local schools as they implement the Common Core standards that will help make this possible.

Conrad Appel

state senator, District 9

Metairie