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BESE president visits Optimist Club


To be the best, accept nothing but the best.

That’s the message BESE Board President Chas Roemer shared with the Optimist Club of Bossier City as he answered questions regarding Common Core state standards.

“The problem with Louisiana is that we have low expectations,” he explained. “For us to be a competitive state, we have to raise our expectations and accountability.”

The state-led effort to develop the Common Core State Standards was launched in 2009 by state leaders, including governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, two territories and the District of Columbia, through their membership in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

roemer-bio “[They] recognized that our country was behind and that we needed to be able to compete in a global economy,” he said. “For us to remain the leader of the world, we have to be the most prepared.”

Roemer said Common Core is simply a set of standards for students to follow in order to be competitive in the world economy. At the heart of the Common Core debate is one question – do you believe Louisiana and the United States should raise its standards?

“That’s not a question that should be open for debate,” Roemer answered. “We should expect our children to be number one.”

He added, “People are coming here to get our jobs. Wouldn’t you like to know that students in our state have a better chance at getting those jobs instead?”

Roemer said the best thing the public can do to help is to simply speak up, whether for it or against it.

“We need to get rid of low expectations and tell our children we believe in them. We can compete as a state and it’s time to move forward.”

He also encouraged the public to support their school officials and teachers.

“We have given teachers a great deal of change in a short amount of time. Encourage them to carry on and make sure our students are ready to compete.”

Roemer added that he will continue speaking out at the state level.

“As a state, we need to do more to raise the bar. We’ve hit many bumps in the road along the way, but we need to be rigorous.”

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.