Two South Dakota Moms have Joined Forces to Fight Common Core and Its Associated Standardized Test

By December 9, 2015South Dakota
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Amber Mauricio, a mother of five from East River, and Shelli Grinager, a mother of three from West River, are co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit claiming that South Dakota’s adoption of Common Core standards and involvement with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) are unconstitutional.  A similar lawsuit in Missouri was successful, although under appeal, and has served as the template for the South Dakota complaint.

The lawsuit questions the constitutionality of the federal intrusion into South Dakota’s public schools through Common Core.  The litigation also points out that federal law prohibits states from making compacts with other states without the consent of Congress.  Mauricio and Grinager argue that the yearly dues of $600,000 paid by South Dakota to be part of the SBAC testing consortium are illegal.

According to an article by the Thomas More Law Center, whose attorneys are defending the lawsuit, both parents claim their children are victims of the federal Common Core standards and high stakes testing.

Mauricio was alarmed by personal questions about her children’s home life asked on SBAC tests and the refusal of school personnel to respond to her “opt-out” request from testing.

Grinager, a former South Dakota school board member, decided to homeschool two of her children to teach them more challenging math than what is offered in the rigid Common Core-aligned curriculum.  She said, “The public school environment has become more about testing our children than teaching them.”

Pending the outcome of this lawsuit, South Dakota legislators will continue to wrestle with educational challenges in the upcoming session.  For our part, CWA of South Dakota will be in Pierre voicing the concerns of South Dakotans like Grinager and Mauricio, just as we have for the past 20 years.

To read the full article on the lawsuit, go to: