U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who plans to step down from the Senate to run for governor, said Sunday that he supports the Common Core State Standards, adding adding another layer to the messy standards squabble in Louisiana.
His statement, which according to the Associated Press was his first public stance on the standards, runs up against Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s heated quest to repeal them. Jindal is slated to depart from the governor’s mansion in 2015, in accordance with the state term limits.
"[The Common Core] has stirred up a lot of controversy, including in Louisiana,” Vitter said Sunday on CSPAN’s “Newsmakers” program. “I strongly support the common-core standards. When you actually look at the standards ... I think they are very strong, significant, and positive standards.”
“The key is being aggressive at the state level at implementation in two regards,” Vitter continued. The first, he said, is preparation to ensure teachers have the tools they need. The second, he said, is retaining state and local control of curriculum.
You can watch the entire clip of Vitter’s common-core standards comments here.
Jindal first sparked disagreement over the common core after he announced in mid-July that he planned to block the state from administering tests aligned to the standards using his executive authority. Since then, the state board of education has signed on to a lawsuit against him, which resulted in Jindal filing a countersuit.
During the CSPAN interview, Vitter also spoke about his decision to leave the Senate at a time when Republicans are poised to potentially take control of the chamber, and emphasized the important role education would play in a Vitter administration. Here’s what he had to say:
I could have a lot more impact and really see some important positive things through from start to finish in that chief executive position," Vitter said. "We're at an exciting point in Louisiana—lots of opportunity for great economic growth and good-paying jobs. But to really capitalize on that and fully take advantage of that, we need to get some important, fundamental things right, starting with education, both K-12 and higher ed."