Ready for some good news? Today, a national nonprofit law firm leading the charge against Common Core reported a big victory in Missouri, where it helped thwart the implementation of an expensive and unpopular part of the Common Core math curriculum.
Since teaming up with Missouri attorney, D. John Sauer, who initially took on the case on behalf of Missouri taxpayers, the Thomas More Law Center has brought similar challenges to the constitutionality of the Common Core testing consortia in several other states, including North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia.
So what happened exactly?
The court of appeals dismissed an appeal by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, upholding a lower court decision that blocked Missouri’s membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) --- part of the Common Core math standards being forced on U.S. students. You know, the "new" math that has made children cry and parents tear their hair out because of its stultifying nature.
Why is this a big deal?
As it turns out, SBAC violated the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution and numerous federal and state statutes.
Secondly, for the privilege of membership, states are required to pay hefty fees (i.e., taxpayer money).
In South Dakota, SBAC membership fees would total over $600,000. That could buy a lot of crayons. Two South Dakota moms (who clearly recognized bad budgeting when they saw it) had the Thomas Moore Law Center file a lawsuit this month on their behalf, challenging the constitutionality of the state’s participation in the SBAC.
Shelli Grinager, mother of three, and Amber Mauricio, mother of five, have both seen their school-aged children break down in tears due to pressure teachers and schools placed on them to pass SBAC tests.
This isn't the first time Grinager, a former school board member, PTA president and advocate for students and families, has fought against Common Core. Since its roll-out, she has spoken out against the high-pressure SBAC tests. Last year, she began homeschooling her children, after two were denied more challenging math because they had to stick to the rigid Common Core curriculum.
Mauricio’s fight against Common Core began when she attempted to “opt out” her children from SBAC testing. The school ignored her opt-out request and tested her children anyway. Mauricio was alarmed by the nature of some Common Core aligned questions asked of her children, which sought to examine how they would behave in certain situations and what their home life is like.
[vimeo_embed https://player.vimeo.com/video/120619448?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0 expand=1]
Featured Image: Claes Oldenburg's "Study for a Rotten Apple Core, Two" is seen during a press preview of the Collection of Betty Freeman at Christie's April 3, 2009 in New York City. David Hockney's "Beverly Hills Housewife" (est. $7-10 million) is set to break a world auction record and is displayed along with works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Dan Flavin and others. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)