JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri judge this week ruled that a testing consortium designed to administer Common Core exams is an “illegal interstate compact not authorized by the U.S. Congress.”
Cole County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green ruled Tuesday in favor of Gretchen Logue and Anne Gassel, editors of the Missouri Education Watchdog site, who argued that the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced multi-state testing consortium is “an unconstitutional interstate compact that was not approved by Congress, in violation of the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 10,” Breitbart.com reports.
Gassel wrote on the Missouri Education Watchdog site that “the suit also alleged that Governor (Jay) Nixon and (Education) Commissioner (Chris) Nicastro’s course of conduct in committing Missouri to Common Core was in violation of numerous federal and state statutes.”
Louge told Breitbart in September that the “lawsuit claims that the two interstate ‘consorta’ that are implementing Common Core-aligned tests in dozens of states, SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) and PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), are unconstitutional interstate compacts the Congress never authorized.
“We hope all states that are members of either consortium will realize that they have no legally binding commitments to these illegal entities, and that SBAC and PARCC are legally null and void,” Louge said.
The Missouri Department of Education paid nearly $4.3 million in membership fees to SBAC in the current fiscal year, Heartland.org reports, though Tuesday’s ruling makes future payments illegal.
The judgment, posted on Missouri Education Watchdog:
The Court finds that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a.k.a. Smarter Balanced, Smarter Balanced at UCLA, SBAC, and SB, is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 10, cl. 3, as well as numerous federal statutes; and that Missouri’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a member is unlawful under state and federal law.
Accordingly, the Court DECLARES that any putative obligations, including the obligation to pay membership fees, of the State of Missouri to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Smarter Balanced at UCLA, Smarter Balanced, SBAC, SB, the University of California, and/or the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (collectively, “SBAC”) are illegal and void; DECLARES that no Missouri taxpayer funds may be disbursed to SBAC in the form of membership fees, whether directly or indirectly; and PERMANENTLY ENJOINS Defendants, and each of them, and all those in active concert with them, from taking any action to implement or otherwise effectuate any payment of Missouri funds as membership fees to SBAC, whether directly or indirectly.
“We expect the state to appeal this decision, which attorney John Sauer looks forward to defending,” Louge and Gassel posted to MoAgainstCommonCore.com. “We encourage other states to bring similar suit to end the Smarter Balanced Consortia.”