Letter: Voters didn’t choose standards

State Rep. Cameron Henry urged Gov. Bobby Jindal to stop the state from taking part in the federal standards program last year. In addition to claiming it eliminates parental involvement and local control, he said the testing, to be conducted in Louisiana and 17 other states by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, would cost the state too much money.

“Like the costs of the Affordable Care Act, Louisiana cannot afford the long-term costs associated with implementing PARCC testing,” Henry wrote.

Jindal has not stated a clear position on Common Core, telling the Baton Rouge Press Club last month that he supports tough standards, yet leaving open the door for a reversal of the state’s decision to participate.

“We cannot retreat from rigorous standards,” said Jindal. “However, I am absolutely opposed to any kind of federal takeover of a curriculum or federal government involvement in dictating to us our curriculum.”

I don’t remember being asked for my opinion on the matter via the voting process. Therefore, didn’t Gov. Jindal dictate a curriculum to Louisiana’s teachers, parents and students? Why were we not allowed to vote on whether Louisiana would adopt the Common Core standards? It’s because the federal government dangled the proverbial carrot in front of Louisiana lawmakers and offered money to the state if it would adapt and implement the standards. Who do you think will have to repay all the monies being so generously offered by the federal government to the states that “play ball” with this Common Core initiative? We, the taxpayers, are going to foot the bill.

Now, if we are to pay for this Common Core standard and implementation, shouldn’t Louisiana lawmakers have asked us if we wanted to? If the local and federal governments can dictate to us what programs we will pay for without hearing our voice, then we no longer live in a democracy.

John Ardoin

oilfield worker

Denham Springs