Education

Apr 18, 2014 5:33 PM by Kristen Holloway

Acadiana Educators React to Common Core Implementation

Acadiana educators are reacting to State Superintendent John White, as he is looking at ways to tweak Common Core and PARCC tests.

White is hoping to improve on some aspects of Common Core, but Governor Bobby Jindal says if lawmakers don't scrap the PARCC test, which is a Common Core based standardized test, he'd consider trying to remove Louisiana from the PARCC consortium himself.

We spoke with educators who have been warning state officials from the beginning.

"All we're asking is to slow down a little bit, give us time as districts, we know what's best for our people for our students," said Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau.

The Common Core Curriculum has sparked several debates across the state, but educators like Puyau says its not Common Core itself causing the chaos.

"I was very adamant in saying Vermilion Parish has always been accepting of those higher standards but removing a transitional year, not providing us with a curriculum, leaving writing of curriculum on our teachers backs is what frustrated teachers the most," said Puyau. "This put district, students, teachers and parents in a predicament and set them up for failure."

Puyau thinks throwing out the standards now would only make matters worse because once again teachers would have to start something new.

"We've made great strides, our teachers have really started to understand, our students have start to understand however is it perfect no we're still going to implement new strategies," Puyau added.

The way Common Core was rolled out is a major concern for Rodolfo Espinoza, a teacher at Lafayette High.

"Anytime you're forcing a teacher to do things in a certain way for bureaucratic reasons, you're encroaching on their professionalism, they're ability to be creative and bring to the table all the reasons why they become a teacher in the first place," said Espinoza.

"PARCC" is a test used to evaluate students in Common Core. Meaning on top of other standardized tests, high school students would be testing from December through May starting next year.

"Why don't we find a way to have one test, from kindergarten all the way through the 12th grade where one test can show that measure," said Puyau.

"We've become data obsessed and that's driving us down the road of less and less quality classroom time," said Espinoza.

Governor Jindal's office released a statement this afternoon saying, "we continue to support high standards and rigor in our classrooms, but with every passing day it's becoming more and more obvious that parents have concerns with Common Core. It seems this process has been rushed, not just in Louisiana but across the country. It makes sense to take some time and get this right."

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