Letter: Bill hinders progress

On May 5, the Louisiana House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on House Bill 380, which will be a major obstacle to the implementation of Common Core State Standards and PARCC in the Jefferson Parish public school system.

As such, HB380 would be a hindrance to the progress of our district, the largest and most diverse in the state, as we already have made significant investments into both the Common Core and PARCC to continue our momentum of academic improvement.

Our next step in reaching the needs of individual students will be measured against national and international benchmarks. We must raise the bar on academic standards for our students to compete for jobs not only nationally and internationally, but also in Louisiana.

To meet these new expectations, JPPSS has fully implemented the Common Core, and by working closely with the state and PARCC representatives for the past year, we are prepared to use PARCC to measure our student performance relative to these rigorous standards.

Teacher professional development is underway; our technology infrastructure is being strengthened; instructional decisions are aligned to the Common Core and PARCC.

By prohibiting the implementation of PARCC, the approval of HB380 will set our district back at a time when other states are moving forward. If we cannot move forward with PARCC now, our lost time will be damaging to all stakeholders.

Progress is difficult; however, we are convinced that we must be assertive in ensuring a successful future for the children of JPPSS and all of Louisiana. We urge the state Legislature to oppose HB380. This is a move that supports our students and prepares them to compete in a global economy.

James Meza, Jr.

superintendent, Jefferson Parish public school system

Harvey

Michael R. Delesdernier

president, Jefferson Parish School Board

Metairie