Posts tagged "1009216"

Gray, et al. v. Attorney General, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-092-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12064   STEPHANIE GRAY & others[1]  vs.  ATTORNEY GENERAL & another.[2]       Suffolk.     May 2, 2016. – July 1, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Initiative.  Constitutional Law, Initiative petition.  Attorney General.  Education, Standards.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on January 22, 2016.   The case was reported by Cordy, J.     Thaddeus A. Heuer (Andrew M. London with him) for the plaintiffs. Juliana deHaan Rice, Assistant Attorney General (Michael B. Firestone, Assistant Attorney General, with her) for the defendants.     BOTSFORD, J.  The Attorney General has certified an initiative petition that concerns, and seeks to end, the use of the Common Core State Standards (common core standards) in defining the educational curriculum of publicly funded elementary and secondary students in the Commonwealth.  The petition also concerns the standardized testing process used in Massachusetts school districts:  it would require the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education (commissioner) to publicly release each year all of the questions and other “test items” included in the prior year’s comprehensive assessment tests that all publicly funded students in elementary and secondary schools are required to take.  The plaintiffs, a group of Massachusetts voters, challenge the Attorney General’s certification of the petition and seek to enjoin the Secretary of the Commonwealth (Secretary) from placing the proposed measure on the 2016 Statewide ballot on a number of grounds.  We conclude, as the plaintiffs argue, that the Attorney General’s certification of Initiative Petition 15-12 did not comply with art. 48, The Initiative, II, § 3, of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution because it contains provisions that are not related or mutually dependent.[3]  It is therefore unnecessary to consider the plaintiffs’ other challenges. 1.  Background.[4]  The common core standards were developed in 2009 as part of a State-led initiative that included governors and commissioners of education from forty-eight States, two territories, and the District of Columbia working as members of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  The purpose of the initiative was to create consistent learning goals to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the requisite preparation for “college, career, and life.”  See Development Process, Common Core State Standards Initiative, http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/development-process/ […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 1, 2016 at 6:03 pm

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