Common Core standards vital in reducing educational discrepancies

Brendan Lyman, Views Editor

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Education is a public policy issue that will touch everyone’s lives. That’s why education policy is usually an issue people from all political ideologies agree should be a focus. Consensus about focus, however, gives way to discourse about implementation. In the case of opposition to Common Core in Louisiana, discourse is harming students and threatening to send education reform back a decade. 

The Common Core is designed to establish uniform standards in English and math across the country to provide a more equitable and consistent education to students. Common Core addresses the discrepancies between states, which leads to different standards for a high school diploma. Common Core is vital to the future of American education. 

The Common Core Standards were released in 2010 by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the bipartisan National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices. The development of the standards followed almost two decades of federal legislation focused on improving learning outcomes through accountability, or testing, and a focus on excellence. Unlike its legislative predecessors, however, Common Core was not a piece of federal legislation. Further, University of Oregon professor David Conley said the standards were developed out of more than a dozen years of research into best practices.

The Common Core allows for consistent uniform standards, a method for teaching the standards while allowing for independent pedagogy in the classroom and the implementation of a curriculum that will better prepare all students for a global economy. There are issues with Common Core, but overall it was largely seen as a common sense, bipartisan step forward for American education.

The political backlash came anyway.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal, who had supported the Common Core standards in the past, has aggressively backed away from the standards as he considers a presidential bid. During the last year, Jindal has pressured legislators to get rid of the standards. When the legislature refused, he tried to force John White, Board of Elementary & Secondary Education superintendent, to abandon the standards. White has not only refused. He has become one of the most vocal supporters of Common Core’s goals in the state.  

Jindal’s reasoning behind his newly found opposition is clear. Like many conservatives, he has seen an opportunity emerge to raise his national profile and double down on his conservative credentials. The consequences of the Common Core debate, however, fall squarely on the students.

If we fail to implement Common Core, we move backward. We shift directions after years of investment in Common Core from students, teachers and local administrators. We abandon internationally benchmarked and consistent standards in favor of a broken system of discrepancy and inequity. Most of all, we allow those who are falsely claiming a federal government takeover of schools to have their inaccuracy validated by influencing a public policy decision. The majority of education experts including BESE President Chas Roemer agree; dropping Common Core doesn’t make sense.

Brendan Lyman is a senior at Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected]