Sometimes one goes through an “A Ha” moment. When something so obvious hits you like a ton of bricks. The catalyst this time came from Utah, home of the NSA information vault. The spark was the lawsuit in Utah’s court calling for a halt against the implementation of Common Core… Brilliant.
The Governor himself, in response to the clamor of his people, (that will never happen here) has asked the Utah Attorney General to do thorough legal review of theof the rapidly adopted, unvetted education and testing standards known as Common Core…..
His main question (as expected out of Utah) was does Common Core demonstrate Federal entanglement….
For anyone who knows Common Core, that is a no-brainer. When someone says, we will withhold your life support unless you do what we say, that is coercion. Coercion is a form of entanglement.
However… there is lawsuit filed by the Libertas Instutute that goes beyond that, and directly approaches the problem of common core. The Plaintiffs consist of parents, teachers, and school board members.
Utah state law (§ 53A-1-402.6) requires the Board to establish and implement standards “in consultation with local school boards, school superintendents, teachers, employers, and parents.” This lawsuit focuses on one fundamental question: did the Board violate the law in rushing through Common Core’s adoption without required public input?
At no point prior to binding millions of Utahns to this new program did the Board consult with these various constituencies. Instead, the Board consulted with out of state consortia and other related groups, accepting Common Core in rapid fashion in hopes of obtaining the federal “Race to the Top” grant……
Delaware Code Title 14, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3, § 151 State assessment system; rules and regulations. states thusly:
“The Secretary shall consult with the State Board and representatives of the local school districts in designing and implementing the assessment program required under this section.”
That did not happen. Two signatures committed Delaware and every other state to Common Core. The Governor’s, and the Secretary of Education’s…. In fact, Delaware legislators were whipped up to vote for Common Core before any of them knew what it was. No one knew what it was. At that time it wasn’t invented yet…
There is also another caveat unique to Delaware law. This pertains to special educational students. It states:
“The Department shall establish alternate assessments for children with disabilities who cannot participate in the statewide assessment of student achievement even with appropriate accommodations and modifications. Alternate assessments must be developed and used in the statewide assessment beginning not later than the 2010-2011 school year. Each local school district, through the individual student’s Individualized Education Program Team or 504 Team, shall determine what assessment the student will take…”
This state law (151 (f)) IS being violated by the Federal mandate that all students, with no exceptions for disabilities, take the Smarter Balanced Assessments with no accommodations…. Delaware, at the expense of it’s children, IS following the Federal Mandate to the letter. No exceptions for disabilities… and one must add, no concern for the psychological well being of those children forced into a position to which they have only one alternative: to fail. Apparently, this is in violation of state statute.
A second point of violation, is this phrase:… “Each local school district, through the individual student’s Individualized Education Program Team or 504 Team, shall determine what assessment the student will take…” That means at least with each child with a disability, the person with the last say, is the local school district, not the state or Federal programs. Anything otherwise, is a violation of state law.
This state law (151 (j)) further states: “a student who has been formally classified as having 1 of the following 4 conditions, and whose parent, IEP team, and school district superintendent or charter school leader believe will not produce valid results on either the standard or alternate assessment despite accommodations and adjustments, shall receive his or her alternate assessment through consideration of work samples, projects and portfolios, which facilitate authentic and direct gauges of student performance with respect to both relevant state standards and the student’s IEP (a “portfolio assessment”). The insistence of the Smarter Balanced Assessment puts this law into jeopardy.
There is the issue of precedent… Title 14, Chapter 2, Subchapter 1, § 203 Special programs. notes that special programs, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment which was not grandfathered in would by default be a special program,…. states:
“The Department with the approval of the State Board of Education and the school board of any local reorganized school district, either separately or jointly, may establish special programs for children who are in need of education not provided for in regular classes or schools.” The imperative point, is that precedent has always stated that new policies must meet with the approval of the State Board of Education and the school board of any local reorganized school district. No input was solicited from parents, teachers, or school boards on adhering to the new standards.
I won’t go into proof that the standards are harmful. Anyone filing a lawsuit should just peruse the canon of literature attesting to how Common Core hurts kids… Proving justification of harm will be a non-issue.
We are past due for a citizen’s lawsuit seeking an order enjoining the Governor and Secretary of Education from further implementing Common Core in Delaware’s public schools, from requiring Delaware’s public schools to further adopt or abide by Common Core, and from enforcing Common Core in Delaware’s public schools….
The lawsuit should for a declaratory judgment, saying that the Governor failed to consult with local school boards, superintendents, teachers, employers and parents as required by law (Title 14, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3, § 151 State assessment system; rules and regulations.). It asks for an order enjoining the Board from further implementing Common Core, from requiring schools to implement Common Core, and from enforcing Common Core….