BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers on the House Education Committee backed the first of a three-bill compromise proposal aimed at defusing the controversy about Louisiana’s use of the Common Core education standards. The compromise involves:
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will continue its planned review of the English and math standards used in Louisiana’s public schools.
Under the bill by Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, the review would have to be complete by March 2016, when BESE would adopt any changes to standards. The review process would require public hearings in each of Louisiana’s six congressional districts.
After approval from BESE, the standards would have to go through Louisiana’s Administrative Procedures Act, which requires public notice, a comment period and legislative oversight. The House and Senate education committees and the next governor, to be elected this fall, would get an up-or-down vote on the standards. But they couldn’t line-item veto individual standards under a bill by Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie.
If the revised standards were rejected by lawmakers or the governor, the Common Core standards would stay in place until agreement was reached on any revisions.
For the upcoming 2015-16 school year, the state education department would seek a one-year contract for standardized testing in English and math that could use no more than 49.9 percent of its questions from the multistate Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, known as the PARCC consortium. The consortium developed testing questions affiliated with the Common Core standards.
Testing contracts for future school years wouldn’t be put in place until after the standards review process, under changes planned to a bill by Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington.
A dozen other proposals pushed by Common Core critics would be shelved for the session.
That includes bills that would force changes to testing procedures and would enact new ethics restrictions on Superintendent of Education John White and BESE members who support Common Core.
And lawmakers would seek to restore money Gov. Bobby Jindal had proposed to cut from the education department’s budget next year that would be used for testing contracts.