Forget Obamacare. Common Core is the Republicans’ new big enemy

Stephanie Grace
Washington Post

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has never been one to hide his education bonafides.

The wonkish former Rhodes Scholar has established himself as a leader in accountability-based education reform, and enthusiastically supported theCommon Core standards (which establish the skills students should master at each grade level in English and math).

Until he didn’t. At a gathering of tea party activists last August, Jindal vowed to fight any efforts to impose a “national curriculum” (never mind the fact that the Common Core was created and implemented by states). It was the first step in what would become a slow but spectacular reversal. In less than a year, Jindal went from one of the Common Core’s biggest allies to one of its most trenchant opponents, writing “centralized planning didn’t work in Russia, it’s not working with our health care system and it won’t work in education.”

By June, Jindal tried to pull Louisiana out of the Common Core completely, ordering his staff to invalidate the contract to pay PARCC, a multi-state testing consortium. That set off chaos in schools and a high-stakes showdown with the quasi-independent, still pro-Common Core state education board; the whole matter is likely headed to court.

This is just the most ostentatious example of nationally ambitious Republicans turning away from the education standards their party helped create.

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