Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Common Core Tests Violate the Constitution

Common Core made its way into schools across the nation by manipulation and trickery. State bureaucrats have often adopted the standards without talking to legislators. Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered federal funds on condition that Common Core be adopted. And states adopted tests that were aligned with the standards.

One such test was produced by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC whose website lists 21 states as members. Funded by the states and a Department of Education grant, SBAC created tests for its members to give students. They measure achievement based on use of Common Core. This forces states to use Common Core if they want to use the tests. But a couple of smart opponents of Common Core in Missouri noticed a major problem with how SBAC is set up. Gretchen Logue and Anne Gassel filed a suit against the governor and other state officials because SBAC is in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Compact Clause. Article I, Section 10 declares that no state shall "enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State" unless Congress gives the OK. In this case, Congress didn’t, and Circuit Judge Daniel Green declared He agreed with the plaintiffs and declared SBAC unconstitutional, as well as against state and federal law.

Judge Green’s ruling is significant. If it’s upheld, Missouri won’t have to carry out any of the obligations it has as a member of SBAC, including paying fees. Opponents of Common Core in other states should pay close attention. Testing is one of the many back doors used to let Common Core in. Get rid of interstate testing groups like SBAC, and a huge incentive to use Common Core is taken away. States can give up their membership in SBAC and other testing groups today, and create their own tests based on their own standards.

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