BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has responded to the concerns of educators and parents related to the Common Core State Standards by revising policies at its October 16 meeting.
The new measures adopted by the Board ensure local control of curriculum development, strengthen parental input, and protect student privacy.
“The policies passed today will ensure that the concerns expressed by educators and parents on Common Core implementation are addressed,” said BESE President Chas Roemer. “As the implementation process moves forward, we will take additional steps to address concerns and provide for a smooth transition.”
Policies passed by the Board with regard to implementation of the standards include:
• Expanding local school district autonomy to define their curriculum and course materials, and preventing the state or federal government from forcing school systems to use a specific curriculum or course content.
• Requiring school districts to provide parents with high school English reading lists and the ability to “opt out” from reading material parents judge to be objectionable
• Protecting student privacy by requiring that student identification numbers used by the Louisiana Department of Education for the purposes of testing will be non-identifiable student identification numbers.
“The Board truly appreciates the feedback it has received from parents, teachers and administrators as the state transitions to the new, higher standards,” said Roemer. “It is an opportunity to clarify the process, address concerns and reaffirm that Common Core is not a federally-mandated curriculum, but a foundation of standards that will help Louisiana students succeed.”
Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, the Board received a status report on the state’s implementation of the Common Core from Superintendent John White and feedback from over 90 educators, parents, industry representatives, business organizations and other stakeholders at the October 15, 2013, meeting of the Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee. Committee chair Connie Bradford praised the commitment of all participants.
“The discussion from the meeting was very productive,” said Bradford. “It was exciting to have so many people participating who have a passion for education, and it shows that we all want the same thing—to put children first.”
In 2010, the state adopted the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts in an effort to better prepare Louisiana students for college and careers, and to put them on a level playing field with students across the country. Louisiana is transitioning to full implementation of the new standards by the 2014-15 school year.