MARTINSBURG, W.Va.– House of Delegates member Mike Folk filed a lawsuit with Berkeley County Court Monday to stop Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium funding, which is a main part of the Common Core Standards in West Virginia known as “Next Generation”.
In a news release, Del. Folk (R-Berkeley) said the testing was unconstitutional and takes away money from school systems. He also thinks that the time used for testing could better be used for more time in the classroom learning.
“This Common Core testing extracts around two months of time every school year from quality education our children could otherwise be receiving, and forces educators to teach to the test,” Folk said. “It is a large waste of time and resources, and is nothing less than an unconstitutional attempt on the part of the Federal Department of Education to take over our state educational system.”
During the last legislative session, a bill that would have discontinued Common Core and the SBAC standardized testing in West Virginia passed in the House, but died in the Senate after state school Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano promised more public meetings on the issue. Folk said politics played a big role in the decision.
“The bill died in the State Senate due to extensive lobbying by the State Department of Education and Superintendent Martirano that was based on misleading and false information and now students in West Virginia are being harassed and bullied by school administrators when their parents choose to “opt them opt” of this burdensome testing,” he explained.
Folk said he’s been been told it would “take some time” to end the testing, but in his opinion, the opportunity to end it was wasted in 2015 and “now is the time to act”. He pointed out that data can be collected on children without permission, which isn’t right.
“If not now, when? If not us, who?” said Folk. “Parental rights are being trampled and children harassed in our schools, all so the Federal Government can track and log information about our children from the cradle to the grave.”