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LETTER: Anti-Common Core lawsuit raises valid point

Could the U.S. Constitution be any clearer? The Compact Clause (Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3) provides that "no state shall, without the consent of Congress ... enter into any agreement or compact with another state." Congress did not consent to any interstate compact through which states would be bound to Common Core-aligned standardized testing.

Rather, the Obama Administration directed $360 million in spare change from the so-called economic stimulus to draw states into one of two testing consortia set up to devise and implement Common Core testing. Congress authorized none of this executive power play.

The lawsuit filed this week against top North Dakota officials is anything but frivolous. ("Officials target of Common Core suit," Page A1, June 23.) Already a judge in Missouri has voided that state's dues-paying membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium because it supports an unconstitutional contrivance.

As the Thomas More Law Center argues in its North Dakota filing, the arrangement may also violate multiple federal statutes prohibiting federal control of school curricula, given that testing largely sets the curriculum.

Already nearly half the states participating in SBAC and its sister federal consortium, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, have dropped out as concerns mount about the cost, validity and appropriateness of the Common Core testing, and a parental uprising against compulsory assessment spreads coast to coast.

Will North Dakota just hang tough with this one-size-fits-all lurch toward nationalized education, or will it heed the will of the people and obey the Constitution?

Robert Holland

Chicago

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