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JFT wants delay in Common Core test

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Jefferson Parish educators weigh the pros and cons of Common Core. (WVUE) Jefferson Parish educators weigh the pros and cons of Common Core. (WVUE)
METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) -

The Jefferson Parish public school system may be moving ahead with Common Core, but the teachers union said it is hoping for a delay, especially as it relates to the test that is to be used for this school year.  Meanwhile, supporters of the higher educational standards remain steadfast.

"What I say to Governor Jindal is that if he's not for Common Core come out with something better," said parent Sarah Williams as she enjoyed an outing in New Orleans Thursday afternoon.

Governor Bobby Jindal is trying to pull the plug on Common Core in Louisiana. He took steps this week to block school districts from using the tests relating to the Common Core standards. Jindal initially was a strong backer of the higher math and language arts standards which set benchmarks for what students should have learned by the end of the school year.

Louisiana and more than 40 other states adopted the higher standards, but now Jindal has reversed course as the chorus of opposition among some conservatives intensifies around the country. Jindal fears Common Core could lead to the federal government having more control.

"The federal government wants to assert control over our educational system and rush implementation of a one size, fits all set up standards that raises a lot of serious concerns," Jindal said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"We're all in favor of having standards for our students, we believe that, that sets the parameters across the board for everyone in the state and that's important, and we also think it gives a level playing field when they're comparing Louisiana students to other students across the United States, so in that regard the theory behind Common Core is a good one," said Meladie Munch, head of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers.

Still, she said there are drawbacks, as well.

"Our teachers do not feel that they've been given adequate preparation on the standards, they feel that they lack the instructional materials to implement the standards," added Munch.

Munch believes the testing that is to begin in the new school year should be delayed.

"Just because all our schools across the state and even within a school system are not on an even playing field and so we have concerns about that and keep in mind these tests are what determine a teacher's evaluation," she said.

"There are faults in every system, I think that the schools could have a little bit more time to ease into it," said Williams.

Williams, who said she is a conservative in terms of political ideology, said she has strongly supported Governor Jindal in the past. But on Common Core they differ.

"We actually had to take my daughter from the normal public school and put her in a magnet school, they are focusing on Common Core there which we agree with wholeheartedly," she said.

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