By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ The legislative fight over Louisiana’s use of the Common Core education standards is ending quietly.
Centerpiece legislation of a compromise deal on the multistate standards received final passage Friday with a 38-0 Senate vote. It sailed through the chamber with no questions and no debate, with lawmakers pleased an agreement was struck to end the controversy.
“Next to the budget shortfall we were facing, probably the most talked about, the most contentious issue that many of us were facing was Common Core,” said Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, as he presented the bill.
The Common Core standards are benchmarks of what students should learn at each grade level in English and math. They’ve been adopted by more than 40 states as a way to better prepare students for college and careers. Opponents say the standards are developmentally inappropriate and part of federal efforts to nationalize education.
The bill by Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, doesn’t remove Common Core from Louisiana’s public school classrooms, but it calls for a review of the English and math standards. Public hearings are required in each of Louisiana’s six congressional districts.
Development and review of the standards will remain with the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. But the House and Senate education committees and Louisiana’s next governor will have the ability to reject the standards _ in an up-or-down vote, not a line-item veto of individual standards.
If the revised standards are rejected, Common Core stays in place.
The compromise proposal doesn’t dictate that Common Core must be replaced, and the standards review process could come up with only modest adjustments that largely keep the multistate standards intact.
Superintendent of Education John White, a Common Core supporter, backs the bill. It heads next to Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Common Core opponent, whose office has said he supports the compromise.
The standards review won’t be complete before Jindal leaves office. A decision on the standards will instead fall to Jindal’s successor, who will take over in January, and to state education board members elected this fall.
A companion bill by Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, would place limits on the state’s use of standardized testing material from a consortium aligned with Common Core. The Senate unanimously supported the measure Friday, sending it back to the House for approval of changes.