Letter: With Common Core switch, Jindal gambling with students

How could our governor have such a radical change of thought about the validity of implementing Common Core standards in Louisiana’s public education system? As a 20-year veteran teacher who was not thrilled with adapting planned curricula to meet the demands of Common Core, I am appalled.

When Gov. Bobby Jindal was touting the virtues of Common Core and the need to bring Louisiana education up to par to compete with other states, I thought that he was for some type of common ground that would level the playing field for all students.

Granted, this is a daunting task that will take years, but it is a start. When did “unification” become a dirty word? Aren’t we still the United States of America? It is as if to be unified has become synonymous with communism or socialism.

I feel like a pawn on Jindal’s chessboard. Why would he change course so swiftly after investing years and millions of taxpayers’ dollars in Common Core? Teachers are professionals who plan year-round for their classes. Prior to leaving school this year, I received information from our district providing access to the new state “Guidebook.” I have invested much time and money in materials to help me guide students toward more rigorous standards.

The phrase “high stakes” is often used in education, but what is really at stake? Are teacher jobs at stake due to standardized test scores? Or have rapid changes in technology and the socioeconomic landscape raised the stakes for students who are counting on an education to prepare them for the future?

I bought in to the concept of Common Core, hoping that it would be a scaffold to better prepare me to help students acquire skills necessary to compete for future jobs. I see now that the stakes are high for our governor, who seems to have ambitions for a future in national politics. I am frustrated and confused with the schism in our state leadership. I do not see how this politically orchestrated tear in the fabric of our state government is a sign of strong leadership.

The stakes are high for every Louisiana taxpayer whose hard-earned dollars will be paying for a court battle between Jindal and those he has groomed to lead the state to raise standards. I am opposed to gambling when the loss is unsustainable. We have more to lose than dollars.

The way this teacher sees it, Jindal is gambling with Louisiana’s children for his own political gain.

Lynne Vance

high school teacher

Amite