Common Core backers submit signatures

Common Core supporters said Wednesday they submitted 6,000 signatures to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office that show support for the new academic standards.

“We have continued to hear the governor suggest that parents are not supportive of Common Core and PARCC,” said Yolanda Braxton, a parent leader with Stand for Children, in a prepared statement.

“But we are here today as parents who support Common Core and PARCC and we have in our hands nearly 6,000 additional signatures of parents and others who feel the same,” she said.

Common Core represents new classroom standards in reading, writing and math set to take effect for the 2014-15 school year.

PARCC is the consortium that wrote the tests to measure Common Core knowledge. It stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

Jindal backed a bill to scrap the standards, and he also believes that he can order the state to drop the tests if lawmakers fail to act.

State Superintendent of Education John White and Chas Roemer, president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, contend that they too would have to back any withdrawal effort, which both oppose.

“If we do away with or delay any aspect of PARCC then we have no assessment as of right now,” said Jason Hughes, governmental affairs director of Stand for Children.

Common Core backers say the changes will improve student achievement. Opponents contend the standards are flawed and the planned tests need to be Louisiana-oriented, not a national exam.

In a prepared statement, Jindal said he backs rigorous standards “but we should slow down and get it right.

“Allowing the federal government to dictate education policy to states and local government is not something we should support, and it is why parents and educators have spoken out and expressed concerns with Common Core and PARCC,” he said.