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Bobby Jindal can't quit the Common Core on his own

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference.
Justin Sullivan
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came out forcefully against the Common Core on Wednesday: He announced that he's informing the groups that created Common Core that state will no longer participate in the standards, and demanded that the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, the group writing Common Core-aligned tests for Louisiana, "withdraw" from the state.

But Jindal can't actually get rid of the standards on his own. That requires cooperation from the state's top education official, among others — and that official says the state will stick with Common Core.

The state education department left no room for doubt in its press release: Common Core and the PARCC tests are still in place. (John White, the state superintendent, is a longtime Jindal ally who had the governor's backing when he got the job.)

Still, a state can't withdraw from Common Core just because the governor decides he or she doesn't like the standards. If that were the case, the Common Core coalition of 43 states would be in disrepair. State education standards are set by the legislature, the state board of education, or — as in Louisiana's case — both.

With a fight underway between Jindal — who used the support the standards — and his own state superintendent, Louisiana is likely to have the most interesting Common Core politics in the country.

Update: This article initially said that getting out of Common Core-aligned PARCC tests would require White's sign-off. While PARCC maintains that's true, there's also a dispute going on about how Louisiana signed up for PARCC in the first place and whether it followed contract procedures properly, and the whole thing is more complicated than that paragraph made it seem.

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