Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to remain unmoved by offers of a compromise on procuring testing materials tied to the Common Core based on a terse statement his office released following a meeting Thursday with Superintendent John White.
Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to remain unmoved by offers of a compromise on procuring testing materials tied to the Common Core curriculum less than a month before the start of the new school year. Once a supporter of Common Core, Jindal soured on the curriculum, embracing instead the tea party view that it represents a federal intrusion on education.
Following the 2014 Legislative Session in which Common Core narrowly escaped evisceration, Jindal suspended the existing testing contract in order to undermine use of tests tied to Common Core, a move state Superintendent John White and Chaz Roemer, president of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, called an overreach of Jindal's executive authority and a circumvention of education policy set by BESE and upheld by state lawmakers. Jindal insists the education department didn't follow state contracting law and needs to seek competitive bids, and the governor appears to remain unmoved following a meeting Thursday with White. The superintendent was dispatched to the meeting by BESE to offer the governor a final compromise on the impasse in which the Department of Education would solicit new bids for standardized testing services if the testing was aligned with "nationally recognized standards."
But late Thursday afternoon Jindal's office released a statement from the governor suggesting that White's entreaties didn't work: "I made it clear to Superintendent White that it is important for the Louisiana Department of Education to follow the law," the statement reads. "Procurement law is designed to protect taxpayers and it must be followed."
The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana released an analysis of the dispute Thursday in which it lays most of the blame at Jindal's feet. Read that here.
[Editor's Note: The Associated Press contributed to this story.]