Louisiana has passed three new pieces of legislation that attenuate the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The new policies affect the process of developing and approving standards (in the new process, teachers and the public have more opportunity for involvement), as well as assessment.
1. HOUSE BILL 373
This bill requires the following:
* A change in the development of standards for required subjects: before, the state Department of Education developed the standards and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved them. Now, BESE will develop the standards. The law requires BESE to start the process on July 1, 2015.
* At least one public meeting in each congressional district must be held to develop and discuss the standards.
* BESE must post the standards on its website by February 21, 2016 and adopt them no later than March 4, 2016.
* According to BESE, the committees that will develop the standards will be composed mostly of teachers.
2. SENATE BILL 43
According to Will Sentell of the Baton Rouge Advocate:
Appel’s bill requires any changes in the standards to be submitted to the House and Senate Education committees after the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education finishes action.
Those committees could approve or reject the revamped academic guidelines but could not change them.
The measure also makes clear that, while the governor can veto the proposed changes, any rejection would apply to all of the changes, not select ones.
In both cases, the modified standards would return to BESE for more work.
3. HOUSE BILL 542
According to the bill:
The department shall contract with another vendor, in accordance with the Louisiana Procurement Code, for assessments to be used in grades three through ten in English language arts and mathematics for the 2015-2016 school year. Not more than forty-nine and nine-tenths percent of the questions in the selected assessment shall be based on the blueprint developed through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers process or processes conducted by a federally funded consortium of states or by a consortium of states funded by organizations primarily dedicated to political advocacy.