August 14 2014
Vicki E. Alger
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is seeking a court injunction that would stop any tests in the state tied to the Common Core standards. The Times Picayune reports:
The governor's office said in a release that the injunction is needed "because of the imminent risk of irreparable harm created by the unlawful exercise of federal control of education in Louisiana."
The injunction would bar the state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from implementing any assessment program developed by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, known as PARCC …
Late last month, BESE voted to join a lawsuit suing the governor over the issue, claiming he was unconstitutionally meddling in the education board's work. Jindal fired back with a counter-suit of his own against BESE, saying the state's agreement with PARCC is unconstitutional and gives the group too much power to make state education decisions.
Jindal's new amended version of that lawsuit, filed [last] Wednesday in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, expands on that premise.
Specifically, the federal government is expressly forbidden in several laws from controlling school curriculum. Yet Jimmy Faircloth, who is representing the Jindal administration in the case, explains that:
…states could develop their own testing systems to meet the goals of Common Core, but that the federal government is using PARCC as a device to "effectively control curriculums." Though PARCC is voluntary, if states sign on, they get additional points toward qualifying for federal Race to the Top money. "PARCC is a carefully orchestrated federal scheme to supervise, direct and control curriculum…"
More than three decades ago opponents of the creation of the US Department of Education predicted that it would one day act as a national school board. Looks like they were right.
Jindal is just one of a growing number of state elected officials who are rightly fighting for the restoration of state and local control over education—as it’s supposed to be under the Constitution. More important, Jindal is backing that concept up by supporting a wide range of school choice programs that let parents choose their children’s schools. Ultimately, when we empower far-away bureaucrats with control over the education of children, we disempower parents—and that’s the real “irreparable harm.”