Christie as Mini-Jindal

Commentators have noted similarities between Chris Christie’s reversal of support for the Common Core State Standards and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s flip-flop. Jindal, who got a head-start on Christie’s pander to the GOP right, filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration last year, incorrectly claiming that the Race to the Top federal grant competition coerced states into accepting the Common Core.

That’s wrong, of course. Race to the Top assurances included adoption of higher-level standards; the Common Core was one option. States were always free to draw up their own standards, although it always made more sense to use those consensually developed by state leaders and educators.

Think Progress just published this:
Jindal’s lawsuit makes the case that the Race to the Top program, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, coerced states into adopting Common Core standards, even though participation in grant programs is completely optional and Jindal supported implementation of standards in his own state. 
During the daylong hearing on Thursday, Ann Whalen, a former Department of Education official, testified to clarify the Race to the Top program’s influence on states’ adoption of Common Core standards. She noted that Florida, Georgia and Kentucky dropped Common Core standards but did not lose their Race to the Top grants. The hearing will continue today.

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