June 18, 2014
Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting
The Evangeline Parish School Board held its meeting last night and as expected the main topic of conversation was the announcement by Governor Bobby Jindal that “It’s time for PARCC to withdraw from Louisiana. We won’t let the federal government take over Louisiana’s education standards. We are very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators… Additionally, proponents weren’t up front about the federal involvement in PARCC and Common Core. Now that we understand the federal outreach involved, we need to slow down and make the right decision.”
Superintendent Toni Hamlin and members of her staff were paying close attention as the governor spoke yesterday and she commented that “We do not have a problem with the Common Core standards, but through our own hard work as educators, our scores are up! The quality of our teaching has improved and our expectations are higher because we have raised the bar and will continue to raise the bar. We work very hard. We have had a problem with the PARCC Assessment, because we are not ready.”
Shortly after the Governor’s announcement, State Superintendent John White announced that “The state will continue to implement Common Core and PARCC testing despite what the Governor said. He says they’ve committed to 10 years and they will not throw the system into chaos by getting a new plan.”
Governor Jindal pointed out other problems with the Assessment is that it goes against state bidding laws, giving no one else the opportunity to bid on the project, and the enormous cost of the on-line assessment. The governor has requested a report on the amount of money spent to date on PARCC and Common Core.
Board Member, Scott Limoges stated “This was the first time he has heard the governor speaking about the astronomical cost of the program. Now, they are seeing other problems with it.”
Board Member, Peggy Foreman summed up her stance by saying “In 2010, he was all for it. Why should we trust him now? That’s my question. As leader of this state, he should have checked all of this out before he agreed with it. Governor Jindal can say what he wants, and Mr. White can say what he wants, but the real question is “What are we going to do for the STUDENTS.” That’s what this board is here for…to make sure we are educating our children. I am at the point now where I don’t believe any of them.”
The legislature made four attempts to quash the PARCC and Common Core curriculum before they recessed, but to no avail.
Another announcement was made that the Parish will be entering into the litigation against the State in connection with its failure to fund the 2.75% increase called for in the 2012-2013 MFP (Minimum Foundation Program). If the litigation is successful, the Parish would recoup over $900,000 annually that the litigation says it is owed. If the lawsuit is not successful, there will be no fees for the parish to pay.