Two groups on Thursday endorsed the push for more rigorous public school classroom standards called Common Core.
“These standards are an opportunity to refocus K-12 education on reasoning, problem solving, perseverance, decision making, explanatory writing and other skills critical to success in a 21st Century economy,” the Baton Rouge Area Chamber said in what it calls a public policy commentary.
Backers say the standards will add needed rigor to public school classrooms, improve student performance and allow for state-to-state comparisons.
Opponents say Common Core represents needless interference in classroom operations.
The BRAC paper says worries that the new rules represent a federal curriculum are a “misplaced concern.”
It also says that top businesses support Common Core, including 3M, Dow Chemical, Microsoft, Texas Instruments and Xerox.
Meanwhile, a group called Stand for Children/Louisiana sent a letter to state lawmakers that says it will fight any legislation that would pull the state out of Common Core.
“I am writing to make it clear we will strongly oppose any legislation that attacks Louisiana’s Common Core state standards as well as any attempts to force mediocrity and isolation on the students of Louisiana,” says the letter, which is signed by Rayne Martin, executive director of the group.
Earlier this week, state Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans, said he would file a bill for the 2014 legislative session to remove Louisiana from Common Core.
Henry said the guidelines, which have been endorsed by 45 states, interfere with parental rights and failed to undergo needed public scrutiny before being implemented.
“The standards do not tell teachers what to teach, do not specify required texts and do not mandate a curriculum,” she wrote in her letter.