Common Core Testing Groups Won’t Let Some States Go

July 23, 2014
Vivian Hughbanks

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It’s been almost a year since Indiana and Pennsylvania officially withdrew from national Common Core tests, but testing organization still lists the two states as members on its Web site.
“They’ve been inactive for quite some time,” said David Connerty-Martin, spokesman for federally funded Common Core testing group Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), of Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Connerty-Martin didn’t explain why the two states are still listed, promising more information before hanging up the phone, then not returning repeated inquiries. The most recent departure from the consortium was Tennessee, which left last month and was subsequently taken off PARCC’s public list of member states. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has also issued letters withdrawing his state from PARCC, but the state superintendent and board of education are attempting to block his withdrawal.
PARCC and the other national Common Core testing group, known as Smarter Balanced, received a total of $330 million in federal funds to create national tests that measure Common Core’s K-12 curriculum requirements for English and math. In 2009, PARCC had 26 state members and Smarter Balanced had 31 [2]. Twelve states belonged to both. Now, PARCC has 11 state members plus DC, if one doesn’t count Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Smarter Balanced has 21 state members.
State Officials Give Conflicting Messages
Despite this, there is no doubt both Indiana and Pennsylvania have officially cut ties with PARCC. In July 2013, both Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz submitted letters to PARCC officials signifying their state’s withdrawal from PARCC.
“The state was required to withdraw from PARCC at the directive of the state legislature,” said Lou Ann Baker, a spokeswoman for Pence’s Center for Education and Career Innovation in Indianapolis. “Both the governor and the SPI forwarded the required letters for withdrawal and have considered Indiana removed at the issuance of both communications.”
But there is some question as to whether PARCC officials in the state got the message.
“The language is not specific regarding withdrawing completely, so I don’t think that PARCC had clear direction as to whether we wanted to remain in the consortium,” said Trish Wlodarczyk, an Indiana PARCC coordinator. “The same goes for the governor’s letter.”
Clear Public Letters
The letters themselves are pretty clear:
“This will serve as a formal notification that Indiana will not participate in the Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test,” wrote Superintendent Glenda Ritz in July. The PARCC website says Indiana did participate in that test.
And from Pence: “I am writing to notify you of my intent to withdraw Indiana as a member of PARCC’s Governing Board, effective August 12, 2013.”
Pennsylvania is also still listed as a participating state, even though it also withdrew in 2013 when the state’s board of education decided not to use PARCC-developed tests.
“Through the regulations adopted by the state board of education, Pennsylvania is not using national assessments as part of the state assessment system,” said Tim Eller, press secretary for Pennsylvania’s Department of Education. “Pennsylvania no longer attends PARCC events and meetings.”
PARCC’s bylaws say a state’s withdrawal occurs when officials holding the same positions in the state that signed the state into the consortium submit a written notice of withdrawal to the PARCC governing chair. Those officials are typically the governor and state superintendent.
Feds Apparently Unconcerned
PARCC’s four-year, $170 million federal grant ends in September 2014, and an U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) spokesman said PARCC has developed a plan to pay for its activities after the grant runs out.
To be eligible for the grant when they applied in 2009, USDOE required national testing consortiums to have at least 15 member states. But the spokesman said PARCC and Smarter Balanced don’t have to keep 15 members to keep their federal grants.
“Through the program review, the Department works with the consortium and reviews progress to support high quality implementation of the approved plan,” the USDOE spokesman said. “We continue to review to ensure the consortium can maintain the scope and objectives of its original commitment.”


The Cato Institute released an updated 2013 study (original study in 1955) showing that welfare benefits pay more than a minimum wage job in 33 states and the District of Columbia.  Even worse, welfare pays more than $15 per hour in 13 states. According to the study, welfare benefits have increased faster than minimum wage. It’s now more profitable to sit at home than it is to earn an honest day’s pay. Hawaii is the biggest offender, where welfare recipients earn $29.13 per hour, or a $60,590 yearly salary, all for doing nothing.


Here is the list of the states where the pre-tax equivalent “salary” that welfare recipients receive is higher than having a job: 1. Hawaii: $60,590 2. District of Columbia: $50,820 3. Massachusetts: $50,540 4. Connecticut: $44,370 5. New York: $43,700 6. New Jersey: $43,450 7. Rhode Island: $43,330 8. Vermont: $42,350 9. New Hampshire: $39,750 10. Maryland: $38,160 11. California: $37,160 12. Oregon: $34,300 13. Wyoming: $32,620 14. Nevada: $29,820 15. Minnesota: $29,350 16. Delaware: $29,220 17. Washington: $28,840 18. North Dakota: $28,830 19. Pennsylvania: $28,670 20. New Mexico: $27,900 21. Montana: $26,930 22. South Dakota: $26,610 23. Kansas: $26,490 24. Michigan: $26,430 25. Alaska: $26,400 26. Ohio: $26,200 27. North Carolina: $25,760 28. West Virginia: $24,900 29. Alabama: $23,310 30. Indiana: $22,900 31. Missouri: $22,800 32. Oklahoma: $22,480 33. Louisiana: $22,250 34. South Carolina: $21,910


As a point of reference the average Middle Class annual income today is $50,000, down from $54,000 at the beginning of the Great Recession. Hawaii, DC, and Massachusetts pay more in welfare than the average working folks earn there. Is it any wonder that they stay home rather than look for a job? Time for a drastic change, America is virtually bankrupt. Are we Nuts or what? How do we un-do this type of stupidity on the part of Americans? This is crazy! Salary of retired US Presidents $180,000 FOR LIFE Salary of House/Senate….$174,000 FOR LIFE This is stupid. Salary of Speaker of the House …..$223,500 FOR LIFE! This is really stupid. Salary of Majority/Minority Leader $193,400 FOR LIFE! Ditto last line. Average Salary of a teacher .. $40,065 Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN .. $38,000 Think about this, Nancy Pelosi will retire as a Congress Person at $174,000 Dollars a year for LIFE. She has retired as SPEAKER at $223,500 a year, PLUS she will receive an additional $193,400 a year as Minority Leader. That’s $803,700 Dollars a year for LIFE including FREE medical which is not available to us … the taxpayers She is just one of the hundreds of Senators and Congress that float in and out every year!I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree ……. pass it on, I just did.



Our laws are not determined by the whim of any current government officer. Our laws are written by the legislature, governed by the supreme law for our republic—the state and federal constitutions. In Colorado, all government officers are required to take an oath to support the Constitutions. This includes the county clerks who are now defying our state constitution, and therefore their oath of office, by issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Unfortunately, they are following the examples of President Obama and the many judges who rewrite laws whenever they feel like it. The rule of the laws of our constitutional republic is being replaced by the dictatorial whim of far too many government rulers. As a legislator, who has spent nearly twelve years of my life representing your interests and following the constitution to the best of my ability, I am distressed by this lack of respect for, or maybe even the lack of understanding of, this vital responsibility entrusted to all government officers. Lest my arguments for the rule of law are misinterpreted, I must also add: as deep of a concern as I have for how same-sex marriage licenses will alter our cultural understanding of marriage and the family, the issue before us right now is a very different subject. That subject is the fundamental understanding of the form and function of a constitutional republic. In a constitutional republic, government officers must stay within the bounds of that republic’s constitution. Anything else is an invitation to anarchy, dictatorship, or both. Even in a democracy, where the majority makes all decisions, without the constraints of a constitution the will of the majority becomes a tyrant to the minority. It is like two wolves and one sheep deciding what is for dinner. As citizens we must demand better. Hold your elected officials  (and candidates) accountable for their understanding of this critical issue during this election season.  Demand that they commit to upholding their oath of office. Do not let any one of them stray from this essential principle of a constitutional republic.


If you do not have a Border,
you do not have a country!

Wake up America!

Estes Park Tea Party Patriots
Or Friends of America?p


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