On Wednesday June 18th, 2014 Governor Bobby Jindal issued a proclamation that contained the following items:
1. Issued an executive order that instructs the Louisiana Department of Education to conduct a competitive process to purchase a new assessment and which prohibits the expenditure of funds on cooperative group purchasing organizations and interstate agreements;
2. Suspended the rules adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from May 2014 to ensure that the Louisiana Department of Education is able to comply with Louisiana competitive bid law;
3. Instructed the Division of Administration to conduct a comprehensive accounting of all Louisiana expenditures and resources on PARCC, what services or products have been received in return for such expenditures, and copies of all contracts in place or in negotiation for the purchase of an assessment;
4. Issued a Request for Information to PARCC requesting information about the procurement processes utilized by the consortium, by the Fiscal Agent state, and by the Lead Procurement State to ensure that these processes complied with Louisiana law;
5. Notified the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association (NGA) of Louisiana’s termination of participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
In Response to Governor Jindal LDOE & BESE issued the following statement:
STATE TO CONTINUE IMPLEMENTING COMMON CORE, PARCC
The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Louisiana Department of Education today reaffirmed that the state will implement the Common Core State Standards, as well as grade 3-8 test forms and questions developed by states within the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) for the 2014-2015 school year. The Department will deliver and score the grade 3-8 tests using the state's currently active contract for grade 3-8 testing, awarded through the state procurement process.
In addition to the above statements the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) has initiated the following actions:
- Detailed analysis of the series of actions taken by Governor Jindal along with ascertaining a more thorough legal analysis of those respective actions.
- Engaged the LA Association of School Superintendents' (LASS) leadership team to schedule an emergency meeting early next week to provide guidance to local districts during this time of uncertainty among state level leadership.
What a dilemma! School Systems, Superintendents and Principals will have to answer the parent’s and communities questions about which assessment and curriculum their schools will be using. The uncertainty of the answer based on the two very different opinions of Governor Jindal and Superintendent White will likely be headed to court to sort out the confusion. Both the Governor and the Superintendent have indicated that they will take whatever legal action is necessary to support their respective stance. In the meantime, school starts for most districts the first week of August and Superintendents and Principals will have to be ready for the students, parents and communities questions! We will be watching very closely as this issue develops and providing you with updates as soon as we receive them.
In addition to this latest dilemma surrounding the implementation of CCSS and the PARCC assessment— during the legislative session Act 240 was passed which states that the Accountability Commission members with the addition of 6 teachers will be meeting to discuss the Teacher Evaluation Process and to provide revisions to the current process. With the current evaluation system consisting of a 50% student assessment portion, the assessment issue will become even more critical. This act along with other Accountability issues will be discussed at the next meeting which will be held in Baton Rouge on July 21st! We want to make sure your voice is heard, so please email or respond to this blog on any of the items mentioned. Thanks for all that you do and hope you are able to take some relaxation time during the summer!
Keep in touch!
Debbie Schum (LAP Executive Director)