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Louisiana Legislature Approves Changes to Common Core Standards

After a contentious, litigious and politically fraught years-long debate over Louisiana's use of the Common Core State Standards, state legislators on Tuesday approved what were described as minor alterations to the standards that include changing when students learn how to count money and tossing the requirement that students read a Shakespearean play, according to the Associated Press

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to sign off on the changes, which will take effect this fall. 

"We can now all pull together and focus our energy and resources exclusively on increasing student achievement," Edwards said in a statement. 

Opponents weren't pleased with the standards, referring to the changes as cosmetic. 

"We need to set ourselves apart from what the other states are doing, from this review proces where they're just rebranding," Leslie Truax, a Louisiana teacher, told the AP.  

Debate over the standards flared up in 2013—three years after the state's board of education adopted them—when conservatives in the state began to argue that the standards were forced on them by the federal government and don't reflect local needs.  

Then-Gov. Bobby Jindhal, who once supported the standards, sued the Obama administration for violating the state's Administrative Procedures Act for adopting the standards the way the state did. That lawsuit was dropped by Edwards in February.  

The changes to the standards approved by the house and senate education committees Tuesday were made by a 26-member panel appointed by the lawmakers. Around 21 percent of the English and math standarsd were changed. 

My co-worker and State EdWatch predecessor Andrew Ujifusa created this awesome timeline that shows how contentious this debate became over the years.  I updated it with today's news.  

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