Apparently some folks haven’t gotten the memo, so let me reiterate something: The war over Common Core in Louisiana is over.
Yep, kaput. Done. Finito. The ship has sailed. The curtain has fallen.
Louisiana’s citizens have spoken through their elected representatives in the legislature, who have rejected every single bill – and there have been dozens – filed to get rid of the standards. They have also spoken through the ballot box – just a few short weeks ago, in fact – when they returned a pro-reform majority [the districts shown in blue in the map below] to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).
However, those points seem lost on the members of the St. Tammany Parish School Board, who unanimously approved a proposal from board member Neal Hennegan to sever the district’s relationship with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana last week. Why? Because in addition to the dozens of charitable initiatives the organization supports across the Greater New Orleans region, the United Way just so happens to support Common Core.
“They’ve taken up Common Core as one of their initiatives they’re endorsing,” Hennegan told the Times-Picayune. “This is a political issue. Why would they support it?”
Hennegan is only half right. Common Core should be a non-issue that has instead been turned into a political issue by groups like the Tea Party and the teachers unions. He also ignores the fact that the voters of BESE District 1, which includes all of St. Tammany Parish, just reelected Common Core supporter Jim Garvey to the state board. Garvey easily defeated Lee Barrios, who opposes the standards, with 71% of the vote.
In short, the members of the St. Tammany School Board just punished the United Way over an issue that their constituents, it turns out, don’t really care that much about.
Make sense? No, but that’s Louisiana politics for you.