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June 18, 2014 3:26 PM Jindal Completes 180-Degree Turn on Common Core

By Ed Kilgore

You have to say this for Bobby Jindal. When he decides to flip-flop, he doesn’t screw around with transitional steps or rationalizations. He just flat stares into the cameras and contradicts his past positions with a blast of right-wing rhetoric.

And he doesn’t even bother with legalities, either. Today he asserted the personal right to take Louisiana out of the Common Core Standards system into which he once led it, over the protests of his own state educational system appointees and without any authorization from the Republican-controlled legislature.

The Times-Pic’s Julia O’Donoghue and Danielle Dreilinger make it clear nobody in the state has any doubt about Jindal’s motives:

Common Core lays out what students are supposed to learn each year in mathematics and English. Most states adopted the standards, and Jindal was considered a staunch supporter when Louisiana signed on four years ago. The Pelican State’s public and Roman Catholic schools began teaching to Common Core in the academic year that just ended. Next year, third through eighth graders are slated to take new tests developed by a multi-state consortium, the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
Common Core lays out what students are supposed to learn each year in mathematics and English. Most states adopted the standards, and Jindal was considered a staunch supporter when Louisiana signed on four years ago. The Pelican State’s public and Roman Catholic schools began teaching to Common Core in the academic year that just ended. Next year, third through eighth graders are slated to take new tests developed by a multi-state consortium, the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
But last year, a national conservative uproar began to grow, saying the standards, which were developed by a multi-state consortium, represented federal intrusion into state affairs. This spring, Jindal joined the chorus. In March, he started publicly issuing statements indicating he had reversed his position on Common Core, a surprise to White, Roemer and many of the governor’s other close allies on state education policy.
Several weeks of escalating rhetoric resulted in Wednesday’s announcement.

I’m guessing Jindal spent a lot less time consulting Louisiana Republicans than their counterparts in Iowa, where he spoke over the weekend. I gotta say, I’m really going to enjoy it when Bobby finishes fifth or so in the Caucuses come 2016. This kind of shameless pandering often inspires disrespect even among its objects.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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