Target: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Goal: Demand that the governor drop an unnecessary and hypocritical lawsuit brought against previously welcomed educational standards
Not everyone is comfortable with change, but is is rare for anyone to welcome a new development with open arms, only to reject it at a later date. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has done just that. The governor has sued the federal government over the implementation of new education standards known as Common Core. The lawsuit attests that the Department of Education illegally coerced states to adopt Common Core by withholding grant money from those who did not. Left unmentioned in the lawsuit, however, is that Louisiana enthusiastically pursued such grants, and that Governor Jindal himself worked hard to bring Common Core standards to his state, convincing his colleagues of the benefits. Though people are certainly allowed to change their minds, the sudden reversal looks a great deal like a political stunt designed to win over voters who are opposed to the new standards.
Common Core standards are another item on a long list of federal ideas intended to standardize education, and to ensure that students reach a minimum of competency in certain fields. It has its detractors and its supporters; it is not a perfect system. But there is no need for a lawsuit to be brought against its implementation, especially not by a governor who used to so strongly support it. Such an action is more than a little hypocritical. It also might be explained by the fact that a strong majority of conservatives in Louisiana dislike Common Core standards, according to a recent PDK/Gallop poll. Governor Jindal is a possible presidential contender, and a good way to curry favor with his base would be to oppose the same things they do. While ordinarily this would not be an issue, the possibility that such opposition has led to this lawsuit is a troubling one.
If Governor Jindal truly opposes Common Core standards, he should make clear what changed his mind. In any case, his lawsuit should be dropped; his own actions would seem to indicate that coercion was not a factor in at least one instance of Common Core adaptation. By signing this petition, you will urge the governor to end his lawsuit.
Dear Governor Jindal,
Your recent lawsuit against the federal government concerning Common Core adaptation is a strange one, considering your previous support of the standards. Though you assert that the Department of Education broke the law by withholding grant money from states that would not accept Common Core, you worked hard to bring the new standards to Louisiana with no talk of lawbreaking or coercion. There is no need to sue the government; your own state’s experience would seem to indicate no wrongdoing has occurred.
You are certainly allowed to change your mind about things, but in this case it is not clear why you have turned against Common Core. Unless you can clearly explain, I urge you to drop your lawsuit.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: frwl via Wikimedia Commons