La. Gov. Bobby Jindal Slams Pro-Common-Core ‘Elites’ Who Insult Parents

By Andrew Ujifusa — February 05, 2015 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print


Continuing his campaign against the Common Core State Standards and aligned tests, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told an audience at a conservative nonprofit group’s luncheon that the standards represent a grave threat to parental power over their children’s schooling, and expressed confidence that common-core foes would eventually win.

At a Feb. 5 event hosted by the American Principles Project, which opposes the common core, Jindal, a Republican, used the standards to attack Washington bureaucracy, which he claimed forced the standards on states and was now controlling curriculum in the nation’s schools in a way that would fail to teach students Amercan exceptionalism. He also decried corporate interests and other groups which he said believe that parents do not know what is in the best interest of their children’s education.

“I ask them to slow down and listen to these parents. Don’t insult them,” Jindal said of parents opposed to the standards.

He also mentioned in subsequent remarks to the press that while he agrees with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush about many K-12 policies, specifically those that emphasize school choice, the two disagree about the common core.

Citing the work of parent activists like Sara Wood in his home state, Jindal, who like Bush is considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate, told the crowd, “I have more confidence in the moms in this room than any collection of bureaucrats.” He added that “elites” in Washington and elsewhere who back the standards “think they’re better than you.”

Here’s the standard boilerplate you should know regarding the federal government and the common core: Washington did not write, pay for, or mandate the standards. But the U.S. Department of Education did provide incentives for states to adopt the standards when it awarded additional points on federal Race to the Top grant applications to states that did so, at a time (about six years ago) when many states’ education budgets had been cut significantly. The department did pay for the development of aligned tests by two consortia of states, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and Smarter Balanced. By law, the federal government cannot create a national curriculum in schools.

Stressing that American public schools are not simply a way to turn students into economically productive workers, Jindal also told the American Principles Project audience that schools should reflect what makes U.S. education successful: “The common denominator is, we said: ‘We trust parents.’”

Once a supporter of the standards, Jindal last year sued both the Louisiana board of education and the federal government in order to try to halt the standards and the state’s use of the PARCC tests. (To explain his reversal, Jindal told reporters after his Feb. 5 remarks that the initial state-led effort became a “bait and switch” pulled off by Washington.) So far, those efforts have been unsuccessful, althought the suits are still working their way through the courts.

Jindal’s latest gambit against the common core has been to request that the state school board—which, along with state Superintendent John White, has rejected Jindal’s push against the standards and PARCC—allow students to take a state test other than PARCC, citing growing concerns among parents about the test. (The state board immediately declined to do so.)

Jindal so far has not explicitly called for parents to opt out of PARCC. But the Associated Press reported Feb. 5 that while so far just a handful of parents have held their students out of PARCC, state officials are concerned that more parents will opt out and disrupt the state’s testing regimen, which informs the state’s teacher, school, and district accountability systems. The tests are slated to be administered starting in March.

In his Thursday speech, Jindal asserted that the common core is failing just as the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) is failing citizens when it comes to affordable and desirable health care. The governor also said of his and others’ fight against the common core: “I’m confident we’re going to win.”

For a detailed history of the common core and PARCC in Louisiana, see my timeline below:

Photo: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during The Family Leadership Summit last August in Ames, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP-File

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States During Site Visit From Cardona, Illinois Governor Defends Vaccine, Testing Policies
“The testing regimen is there in order to make sure that they’re not entering the institution where they work and spreading COVID-19.”
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune
3 min read
The Student Council lead the creation of “sensory hallways” at Western Branch Middle School in Chesapeake, Va.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona looks on as Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters after touring Access Hawthorne Family Health Center, which is offering COVID-19 vaccines at 3040 S. Cicero Ave. in Cicero, as part of the Department of Education's "Return to School Road Trip" events in the Chicago area, Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 21, 2021.
Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP
States Kentucky Ends All Statewide Mask Mandates After Governor's Vetoes Overridden
The Republican-led legislation strips the Democratic governor's ability to issue statewide mask mandates in schools or anywhere else.
Jack Brammer and Alex Acquisto, Lexington Herald-Leader
4 min read
In this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear addresses the media in Frankfort, Ky. Kentucky's governor said Sunday, Oct. 11, that he will quarantine after a member of his security detail who drove with his family the day before later tested positive for COVID-19. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said he and his family feel fine, show no coronavirus symptoms and have tested negative for the virus.
In this Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear addresses the media in Frankfort, Ky.
Timothy D. Easley/AP
States Bill to Restrict How Race and Racism Is Taught in Schools Headed to Texas Governor
If the "critical race theory" bill sounds familiar, that's because lawmakers passed a similar one during the regular legislative session.
Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
4 min read
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Eric Gay/AP
States Infographic Which States Are Reporting COVID-19 Cases in Schools?
Some states are reporting the number of COVID-19 cases in their schools and districts. Use this table to find your state's data.
Image shows the coronavirus along with data charts and numbers.
iStock/Getty Images Plus