Common Core will help Louisiana students thrive

Courtney A. Brown | | March 24, 2015 –


After Gov. Bobby Jindal’s abrupt about face on Common Core last year, I was bracing myself to hear the strategy for removing the standards that he released last week. I agree with state schools Superintendent John White’s characterization of it as, “quite literally a political plan” — one that does not put our children’s interests first.

As an elementary school educator, I can understand some apprehension about Common Core, but not this political maneuvering. I watched the introduction of Common Core into the classroom and endured the initial anxiety associated with having to integrate its rigorous standards into an already exhausted system.  My students came to me year after year behind the learning curve, and Common Core seemed initially to widen the gap.  The students were frustrated while their proverbial “village” — parents, academic staff and school administrators — was extremely apprehensive.

However, after five years of teaching with Common Core in place, I can firmly attest that the standards have improved my students’ reasoning, writing skills and comprehension. I believe that Common Core is a great vehicle for producing success in the lives of our kids. Unfortunately, Gov. Jindal seems to be more concerned with securing a Republican Party nomination for president than the progress of Louisiana’s young people.

In last week’s press release, Gov. Jindal described the standards as a “one-sized-fits-all approach to our children’s education.” Like the governor, many erroneously believe that Common Core is a federal initiative to micromanage local and state control over education. The truth is, it’s merely a framework from which teachers can launch beautifully creative learning experiences to help students find deeper meaning and application.

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