States continue to distance themselves from either the Common Core or the federally-funded Common Core tests. The following was reported by

“DIVORCING ‘SMARTER BALANCED’: Anti-Common Core activists in Missouri activists opposed to the Common Core are revving up their legal fight to pull the state out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Last month, they won a temporary restraining order barring the state from paying membership fees to SBAC. But that order has expired, so they’ve filed motions asking for another such order – or, better yet, for a summary judgment declaring the state’s affiliation with SBAC an illegal interstate compact. The activists know they can’t stop Missouri from administering SBAC this coming spring; state law requires it. But state committees made up of teachers, parents and administrators are writing new standards to replace the Common Core. In future years, the state will be free to pick a new test aligned with those standards. The lawsuit aims to ensure the state can start that process with a fresh slate rather than be tied to SBAC. In the meantime, the activists want to be sure that Missouri is free to set its own cut scores and control test administration without interference from the consortium. “We want local control, which means that we control the test,” plaintiff Anne Gassel told Morning Education.

– Missouri owes Smarter Balanced $4.2 million for the complete package of formative, interim and summative assessments for this school year. The state has already paid a portion of that fee and Sarah Potter, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said it will have to find a way to pay the remainder no matter what happens in court, since the law requires that the SBAC test be used this school year. A renewed restraining order “could impact our membership in the consortium, but we don’t think it will affect our actually buying and administering the test,” Potter said. In the event that the Show Me State’s payments are affected, the consortium is developing a policy for dealing with deadbeat states. Among the issues being discussed: Whether to block states from using the assessments if they fail to pay their bills, Potter said.

– “We are committed to working with the state of Missouri to provide the best tools and assessments to teachers and students,” Smarter Balanced spokeswoman Jacqueline King told Morning Education. “Beyond that, I cannot comment.”