Blog: Louisiana Governor Jindal Says Common Core is Illegal Federal SchemeBobby Jindal

The basic question is does the Constitution give the federal government the authority to intervene in education in any way? Nowhere in Article 1, Section 8 is that power included in the list of powers given to Congress. Article II does not give that power to the Executive nor does Article III give it to the Judiciary.

According to the Department of Education’s website, the original Department of Education was formed in 1867 simply “to collect information on schools and teaching that would help states establish effective school systems.”   It operated under many names and in various locations within the Executive Branch until Congress established it as a Cabinet level agency in 1980. But again the question: Does the Constitution give the federal government a role in education?

Fast forward to 2009 and President Obama’s Race to the Top competition between the states. There were two competitions over the next couple years and a total of 45 states “won,” meaning they got federal dollars to help their budget shortfalls. However, there was a catch. They had to accept the Common Core standards, sight unseen, in order to get the money. NOTE: At that point in time Common Core had not even been written yet!

As time progressed, Common Core was being implemented across the nation largely under the radar screen. But word has leaked out and, by and large, parents and taxpayers are in uproar over this total remake of the US education system. Some state governments are now pushing back also.

Governors in Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina have signed bills repealing Common Core. Oklahoma’s Supreme Court just upheld the law. Florida Governor Rick Scott changed the name to Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and their Department of Education has approved 98 different changes to the Florida standards. In Pennsylvania, the name has also been changed to PA Common Core Standards and is being fully implemented as Common core compliant.

Just who wrote Common Core is a valid question. What are the quality of the standards? Is this really a federal takeover of the nation’s education system?

Cheryl Boise of Pennsylvanians Against Common Core says, ” Pennsylvania hired the University of Pittsburgh to do an alignment and integration of the National Common Core framework with our previous state academic standards. 85% of our standards were required to be in alignment to Common Core. In order to say the states had some say in this movement, the states were given 15% flexibility in the standard changes.”   Check out their website for more information.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has taken another approach and signed an executive order declaring that the state’s contract with Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) violated state law and required the creation of a brand new contract to craft standardized tests, which Jindal said should not be aligned with Common Core. The governor calls Common Core a federal scheme which violates federal law.

The fight continues for the heart and soul of our children.

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