As the Louisiana Legislature kicks off today what is sure to be a lively discussion on the controversial Common Core education standards, Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister—who has closely observed education reform issues for more than 25 years—says that Louisiana needs Common Core. “I was experiencing a bit of déjŕ vu when I heard Chas Roemer, president of BESE, talk about our students having to compete with children around the nation and around the globe,” McCollister writes in his latest column. “Roemer, like his father, former Gov. Buddy Roemer, is well-educated and sees the future and the need to prepare our children for global competition.” McCollister notes that the elder Roemer fought for reform 26 years ago and warned Louisiana parents then of the global competition their children would soon face. “Most ignored the call for raising the bar and stuck their heads in the sand, choosing to believe their children’s and grandchildren’s future would be the same as theirs—and a good job would not even require a high school diploma, demanding more brawn than brains,” McCollister says. “They were wrong … it happened just as Gov. Roemer said it would. Ignoring the change taking place in the world did not make it go away. It just put us further behind.” McCollister acknowledges concerns of many Common Core opponents—chiefly, that there’s a conspiracy afoot that will allow the federal government to get its foot in the door and force federally sanctioned textbooks on every child. “I get that they distrust the federal government (and the U.S. Department of Education, which needs to be gotten rid of), but setting standards is different,” McCollister maintains. “It is important for schools and children, and we can’t repeat our mistake and stick our heads in the sand.” Read the full column. Send your comments to email@example.com.
Today’s poll question: Do you support Common Core standards for Louisiana schools?