Two bills addressing Common Core and the testing procedures that go along with it never made it out of committee Wednesday.
By the time the House Committee on Education finished amending HB 381, it no longer had anything to do with Common Core, Rep. Gene Reynolds, D-Minden, said, after listening to six hours of testimony in the morning and several hours again that evening.
"Basically, the much-ballyhooed Common Core/no Common Core showdown has turned into a nothing," Reynolds said, as he referred to 14 changes made by fellow representatives. "The bill was amended so much, it's not about Common Core anymore. Nowhere in that bill did it say 'get Common Core out of schools.'"
Rep Brett Geyman, R-Lake Charles, authored the original bill which would create a commission to develop state standards for required subjects for public school students.
It also provided for implementation of the standards by BESE (state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education).
With amendments, Reynolds said the bill read where Common Core would be kept for two years.
"And a commission of 32 people would be formed to come up with more standards," Reynolds said, adding he suspects it would be uncommon for 32 persons on a panel to agree. "To me, it was unconstitutional. It's an unelected board that would be cumbersome. I voted against it."
It was defeated by a 12-7 vote.
The same 12-7 vote defeated a bill by Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, that sought to prohibit the standardized testing associated with Common Core – Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
"You need to have a test that matches the content standards," Reynolds said. "The reason I voted against that one is because it's not practical if you don't have the
Common Core standards to have something else that's not even aligned to it."
Reynolds said he expects to see a similar bill come up again.
He also pointed out that since this is the first year of implementation for Common Core, he expects to see significant progress in a year or "I will lead the charge to get out of both of these (Common Core and PARCC)."
Reynolds added that he doesn't expect that to happen.
"I believe by this time next year we will have made so much progress that everybody will be okay with what we're doing," he said. "It's too early to keep it or throw it out until we try it."