Educators offer solutions to Common Core stalemate - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Educators offer solutions to Common Core stalemate

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - What now for Common Core? After Thursday’s meeting between Governor Bobby Jindal and State Education Superintendent John White ended in a stalemate, it means there’s still no state accountability test for the upcoming school year.

While the back and forth continues at the Capitol, stakeholders here say with the start of school just a few weeks out, ultimately it’s the children that are going to be impacted.

And it’s why many are calling for a moratorium on end-of-the-year testing if a decision cannot be reached in the next few weeks.

“I think the entire thing is bizarre,” said Terry Holden with the Louisiana Association of Educators.

Teri Johnson, President of the Calcasieu Federation of Teachers added, “Useless.”

That's how education organizations are reacting to Thursday's meeting between Governor Jindal and State Education Superintendent John White.

“They came out no better off. Teachers are no better off, the students are no better off, since the meeting,” said Johnson.

The two education policymakers were supposed to discuss Common Core education standards and testing. But their meeting ended up a stalemate.

And with neither side budging, it leaves educators with no state testing in place for the upcoming school year.

“We are at a standstill right now as to what we need to do to prepare the students for the tests next year,” said second grade teacher Mark Hayes, who’s also President of the Calcasieu Association of Educators.

While it impacts students, it also affects teachers, who are evaluated by test scores. And it's why some are proposing a solution.

“If the Governor and Superintendent White cannot come up with a decision, we're hoping they'll call a moratorium and not have any testing next year or at least go back to the same test we gave last year,” said Hayes.

“The LEAP and iLEAP that were given last year were in line with the PARCC requirements,” added Johnson.

While Holden says that wasn't a catastrophe, he believes they're still mismatched and offers another solution, “If we continue to adhere to the high stakes tests, they ought to be written along with our own Louisiana state standards.”

While many still doubt Common Core itself, educators believe it's important to continue learning better ways to teach it.

“Let's be fair, there's nothing else that's going to be there next fall. There's no time,” said Holden.

BESE hoped White and Jindal could reach a compromise Thursday so they could avoid litigation. However, White doesn’t think that’s likely.

For now, many are hoping BESE will at least decide on a test in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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