The political posturing around the Common Core State Standards continues in Louisiana.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter is the latest Bayou State politician to flip-flop on the Common Core, joining Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Both strongly supported the standards initially but now claim they aren’t Louisiana enough—that there has been too much influence from D.C. And that’s not the only thing that Jindal and Vitter have in common. Their reversals come as both are eyeing new offices: Jindal covets the Oval Office, and Vitter is fixin’ to move into the governor’s mansion.
But many of Louisiana’s teachers, with their sights firmly trained on the needs of their students, are speaking out in support of the Common Core.
A story in Lafayette’s The Daily Advertiser leads with this:
Louisiana educators said they were upset, discouraged and disheartened at U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s Monday announcement that he no longer supports the Common Core standards.
These are educators who know the full background and the amount of hard work that teachers have put into developing, adopting and implementing the Common Core in Louisiana.
Many also disagreed with Vitter’s stance that Louisiana should establish its own educational standards. Britton Kilpatrick, a math teacher from Lincoln Parish, noted that hundreds of educators and others helped develop and review the Common Core standards. Kilpatrick said he doesn’t think the state has enough of its own resources to create comparable standards for Louisiana.
And the teachers have seen firsthand how the standards are making a difference in the classroom:
“Not only did I see the greatest amount of academic growth, but also the greatest growth in their confidence that I have in the years that I’ve taught,” said Laci Maniscalco, an elementary teacher from Lafayette Parish. “It’s because we’re giving them that ownership of their education…They’re having an educated discussion around what they’re learning, which makes their learning more meaningful and more concrete.”
These are important perspectives from inside the classroom that should be weighed against pronouncements spouting from the campaign trail.