Common Core Test Found Unconstitutional in Missouri
Although a judge has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the state from paying for Common Core tests, Missouri students will likely still take the tests. A judge temporarily blocked payment to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, saying payment represents an interstate compact to which Congress did not consent and is therefore unconstitutional.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is one of the two testing entities that in 2010 received $330 million in stimulus funds from Obama’s American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. SBAC and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) were federally supported until September of 2014. At that time states began paying for the Dept. of Education-mandated tests to be administered in participating states.
Judge Daniel R. Green wrote that “the payment of membership fees to an unconstitutional entity would impose irreparable harm on the Plaintiff taxpayers, who have an interest in ensuring that all payments from the Missouri Treasury are made in accordance with the law.” But the judge said that Missouri can still administer Common Core tests, even without being a dues-paying member of SBAC.
In July, legislators passed and Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill that created a panel to review Common Core standards to determine if Missouri will keep them or not. But that recommendation is not due until October of 2015 and would not take effect until the 2016-17 school year. Meanwhile students are being taught using Common Core standards and will likely take the tests aligned to them.
Many Missourians worry that Common Core is contrary to local control and creates a de-facto federal school board. They are concerned about the delay in the working committee recommendations and that the state Board of Education doesn’t have to abide by the recommendations of the committee.