Local Business Leaders Speak Out On Common Core

The Louisiana Association of Business & Industry says they oppose the Governor's position on common core.

MONROE -- At an event held by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President, Stephen Waguespack spoke out against the Governor's decision to ban common core.

"In 2010, the state decided to adopt the common core and prepare for the 2014-2015 school year, we're at that moment, we're at the door step, and it’s time to move forward”, said Waguespack.

He says the standards aren't perfect, but they do challenge students in Math and English, areas where Louisiana ranks 48th and 49th nationally.

Waguespack says if kids continue to lack the basics, it could negatively impact job recruitment.

"It’s not necessarily training them for a certain skill, or technical aspect, its basic education that our workers need to add to their repertoire", adds Waguespack.  

On employer, CenturyLink echoed those sentiments.

The Monroe-based company is in the process of expanding, and recruiting people from all over the nation.

"If you are relocating your family to another state, and you have small children, one of the first questions you would ask is what is your education system like”, said VP of Policy and Legislative Affairs, John Jones. He believes that the uncertainty with common core standards do nothing to ease those worries for potential employees, moving to the state.

"The perception is very important here. If we send a signal nationally that we're going backwards or that we're actually delaying education reform, we think that sends a bad signal to those who are interested in coming here to live and work", said Jones.

He believes common core places an emphasis on Math and Science, a big part of what CenturyLink employees specialize in. 

"The standards we very much support and we believe it sends a very positive signal to the rest of the country that Louisiana is serious about education reform."

We reached out to Governor Bobby Jindal’s office to see if they would comment. In a statement to KTVE/KARD, spokesperson and Deputy Communications Director Shannon Bates says:

"We believe in high, rigorous standards that allow our students to compete for jobs around the nation and the world. We can certainly have high standards without giving up control of our education system to the federal government. Under Louisiana law, the Louisiana Department of Education is required to issue an RFP for an assessment, and the department has not done that. DOE needs to abide by Louisiana law, do its job, and issue an RFP.” - Shannon Bates, Deputy Communications Director. 

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