Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kentucky Court of Appeals Dismisses Anti-Common Core Case

TEA Party Appellant Unable to Make a Case against Common Core

On its own Motion, the Kentucky Court of Appeals (8 May 2014) quietly dismissed TEA Party activist David Adams' appeal of his unsuccessful anti-common core suit.

Poof. That's it.

For all of his bluster and suggestions of brilliant double-secret legal strategies, when it came time to put up in court, David Adams shut up.

That's understandable. There was really nothing he could say.

Doomed from the start, Adams' dream of derailing Common Core adoption in Kentucky turned out to be just that. A pipe dream.

Common Core has now withstood a legislative attempt (by two original sponsors of Senate Bill 1 which opened the door to Common Core to begin with) and one court challenge - both designed to kill the curriculum standards. As a result, Common Core has been galvanized into the classrooms of Kentucky for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for your help, David.

This from the Kentucky Court of Appeals:


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Don Quixote Sues Kentucky Over Common Core

From time to time Kentucky Tea Party activist David Adams takes a break from trying to shut down the government and obsessing over poor Kentuckians access to healthcare and wanders into my area of interest - public education. Last week, David announced on Facebook that he had filed suit against the state of Kentucky over Common Core arguing that the state's adoption of standards before they were finalized constituted an unconstitutional mismanagement of the schools. Ha!

We had a little exchange. 

Richard Day Wow. Talk about frivolous crap clogging the court system! This is a pristine example. You may want to at least read SB 1 where the General Assembly took affirmative action opening the door for Common Core. Are you planning to argue that the legislature can't pass laws governing curriculum? This lawsuit is going nowhere, Don Quixote.

David Adams: SB 1 took no affirmative action to commit Kentuckians to signing over their rights to the federal government with little to no appropriate due diligence.

Richard Day: Sorry David. Your argument won't fly. The Gen Assembly with a Republican sponsored bill required an internationally benchmarked curriculum that CCSS matched. Time will tell...but you're looking at a loss here.

David Adams: SB 1 doesn't lock us in to Common Core and the Kentucky Constitution requires we get out.

Richard Day: No, but it allows the choice.

David Adams: Signing up for something to find out what's in it is not a choice, it's the dictionary definition of waste, mismanagement and political influence.

Richard Day: Give me a break. The record clearly shows that while the draft was not "final," the department knew very well what was in it. And the Commissioner, who serves on the Chief State School Officers Board for goodness sake, should have been an indispensable party, but you left him out for some reason. The mismanagement discussion in Rose v Council was fiscal - it's a school finance case after all, and you should know that. You seem to be trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. If that's what you want to do, so be it. But please, be a man and don't whine when the effort falls flat.

David Adams: Richard, if you don't recognize the fiscal implications of Common Core you should probably just go back to being not interested.

Richard Day: The fiscal implications are no different from any other curriculum the state might adopt - except that if Kentucky had tried to build its own internationally benchmarked curriculum with college and career ready standards, also permissible under SB1, it would have likely been much more expensive and taken much longer to create. When was I not interested in public school issues, or more particularly, the Rose case?

David Adams: Do you really think we have solved any real problems with Common Core? Wouldn't it have been cheaper and likely more effective to just borrow what Massachusetts already had?

Richard Day: David: Perhaps, but it doesn't mater what I think about CCSS. The authority rests with the elected General Assembly and they get to choose. As you know, the US Constitution makes education a province of the states (many more debatable points exist here). If the states have the power to control education, they also have the power to throw in together and cooperate in grants, multi-state programs, or in this case, multi-state curriculum development (which was a Republican idea to begin with). The state constitution makes the General Assembly responsible. The General Assembly didn't direct the state to adopt the Massachusetts curriculum. Instead they approved a Republican sponsored bill that called for a particular type of curriculum, and the state agencies zealously went to work on it. Now, three years later, you have suddenly become interested...following the RNC's lead I might add. One might argue that your action here, as elsewhere, is explicitly political. According to your tortured logic, if your suit is construed as political - is it therefore unconstitutional? We both know that your suit won't be thrown out because it's political. There are several other reasons the court might choose...beginning with standing.

David Adams: Keep talking, Richard.

Richard Day: Was that a response?...or a punt?

David Adams: A suggestion. And one I wish you would seriously consider. Volumes have been written about both taxpayer standing in Kentucky courts and legislative responsibilities in carrying out their duties. You are unaware of these things, as your continued typing demonstrates.

Richard Day: Tell you selected the venue. And I'm satisfied to let the court decide. Let's see who turns out to be correct. In the meantime, I'll take your advice, and as time permits, I'll track your progress on Kentucky School News and Commentary. tap tap tap tap tap


Monday, December 16, 2013

Don Quixote's Day in Court

Adams wants the Franklin County Circuit Court to tell the Kentucky legislature that it must stop implementation of Common Core State Standards because he doesn't like Common Core. He knows that the court won't do that. So his solution is to claim that the state system of schools is inefficient, and use the Rose case to stop implementation until such time as Kentucky has an efficient system of schools. Despite Rose being a school finance case, he makes no claims about the underfunding of the schools as a means of showing the systems inefficiency. Adequate funding is a specific constitutional requirement under Rose. Neither does he seem to examine the curriculum sections of the decision where the court discussed specific competencies required of the state curriculum.

As predicted, Plaintiff Adams was immediately challenged on his standing before the court through a Motion to Dismiss. Senate President Robert Stivers also apparently objected to the General Assembly being sued through his office alone, and asked to be removed as a defendant.


Monday, January 06, 2014

Is the Suit Challenging Common Core Adoption in Kentucky on its Deathbed?

In November, after I opined that David Adams' case against Kentucky's adoption of Common Core was doomed from the start, he asked me to seriously consider following the case. I suspect he wanted to teach me a lesson or two in constitutional law. Here's my take on the case so far:

The frivolous lawsuit brought by Don Quixote de Nicholasville (otherwise known as TEA Party activist David Adams) challenging Kentucky’s adoption of Common Core State Standards seems close to being over already...


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kentucky Judge Strikes Down Common Core Suit

Adams v Commonwealth DISMISSED with prejudice

TEA Party activist failed to establish Standing

Failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted

Adams says, "Franklin Circuit is hardly 'the court'"

In Kentucky's Franklin County Circuit Court today, Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down TEA Party activist David Adams' suit challenging Kentucky's adoption of Common Core State Standards.
Adams v Commonwealth (13-CI-01316) went from Complaint to the Judicial Graveyard in just two months (which is lightening speed, especially during the holidays, for a court to receive the complaint, hold a hearing, allow for responses, and rule). The quick dispatch is indicative of the stunning weakness of the plaintiff's case, and the court's recognition of "Don Quixote de Nicholasville's" obvious attempt to use the court to advance his own political agenda.

Judge Shepherd wasn't buying any of it.

Judge Phillip Shepherd


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Judge dismisses plea to have Kentucky Core Academic Standards halted, tells activist to make case elsewhere 

In his decision, first reported Tuesday by the blog Kentucky School News and Commentary, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd said, “The Court system is not the proper forum to resolve disputes over the educational philosophy of the core content standards. Here, it is clear that the legislature enacted a statute requiring the adoption of the core curriculum standards, and the state Board of Education properly adopted an administrative regulation as to the core curriculum."



Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Don Quixote Twitches. 

As sometimes happens, the dead can twitch. Still dead, some random electric impulse causes the body to flinch. Such is the case with Adams v Commonwealth where Don Quixote de Nicholasville (David Adams) did the only thing he could do to prolong his ill-fated case. He asked the judge to reconsider his decision.



Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Why Judge Shepherd Will Scrap David Adams' Motion to Reconsider

Denied or Struck - it hardly matters. Adams' Motion is Doomed.
In these last days of Don Quixote de Nicholasville's ill-fated anti-Common Core suit, Governor Steve Beshear responded to TEA Party activist David Adams' Motion to Reconsider with panache. He not only wants Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd to deny Adams' Motion, but he wants to have it struck from the record for various procedural and legal defects. I can't think of any reason Judge Shepherd won't do just that.



Friday, February 14, 2014

Judge Shepherd Denies TEA Party Activist in Anti-Common Core Case

Plaintiff lacked standing, Failed to state Claim

Suit Ends in Circuit Court

Adams to Appeal 
Before the ink was dry on Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd’s order – indeed, even before the Judge had signed the court order denying Don Quixote de Nicholasville’s Motion to Reconsider - TEA Party Activist David Adams had filed a notice of appeal with the Kentucky Court of Appeals.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Anti-Common Core Case On Appeal

Case: 2014-CA-000267 – an appeal of 13-CI-01316
Appellant: David Adams
Appellee: Commonwealth of Kentucky
We should be within a couple of weeks now. David Adams’ has promised an appeal of his anti-Common Core case, which was thoroughly pummeled by Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd. What brilliant strategy could Adams find at this late date which might persuade the Court of Appeals to take up his case? And if the Court accedes, how on Earth could Adams win?
David Adams



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TEA Party Activists' Appeal Stalls 

We don't know if this is a case of excusable neglect, or the more typical everyday kind of neglect we have seen from David Adams as he framed his anti-Common Core law suit. Soundly rejected by Judge Phillip Shepherd in the Franklin County Circuit Court, Adams vowed to appeal. He even sent an urgent notice to his Facebook friends asking for emergency monetary support.

Since then, crickets. Adams told KSN&C that the reasoning for his appeal would be forthcoming in a Prehearing Statement which was due to the court somewhere around March 5th. chirp. chirp.



Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Adams Fails to Respond to Court of Appeals

Did TEA Party Activist Abandon his Anti-Common Core Suit?
After losing his anti-Common Core suit in the Franklin Circuit Court, TEA Party activist David Adams promised an appeal that would set the record straight.

He put out an emergency request to his Facebook friends for funds to support his suit before the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The cost to file the appeal was $175, he asked for $200 (for what? ...stamps? ...a nice lunch in Frankfort?), and likely received more.

Then, he did nothing.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kentucky Court of Appeals Dismisses Anti-Common Core Case 

 TEA Party Appellant Unable to Make a Case against Common Core


Anonymous said...

While the Tea Party's motives for questioning Common Core were foolish, in my view, it is perfectly legitimate for all of us to question Common Core -- tauted as yet another panacea that will increase student achievement and help kids from indigent backgrounds. I do not believe Common Core will not cure what ails the educational system.

I do hope some of of the stakeholders will read the article on Common Core in "Time" and begin to ask questions. I hardly think the Tea Party was behind the backlash in Indiana, and the protests in NYC, led by parents keeping their kids at home during testing, is likewise not the doing of the Tea Party.

Quite simply, Common Core is a not an idea whose time has come.

Richard Day said...

Totally legit. Of course Common Core is open to examination - one would hope, thoughtful examination - but there is scant little of that in some places.

Teachers and students need curriculum standards, but they represent only one small part of what happens to make a student successful. Anyone who argues that a set of curriculum standards is going to increase student achievement and close gaps has drunk way too much Kool Aid. It takes a lot more than that.

My comments have been restricted to one TEA Party activist, David Adams, who speaks for the Kentucky group with some frequency, and whose work in this case was, in my opinion, abysmal. I can’t speak to what the rest of the mercurial Mad Hatters actually believe except that the group dislikes anything President Obama likes and they argue against their own self-interest daily.

The TEA Party was, in fact, active in the defeat of Common Core in Indiana. FreedomWorks and other neoliberal groups campaigned and introduced bills. The only difference from Kentucky I noticed is that they were successful in the Hoosier state.

Here’s a snippet from the NY Times:
“One of the first states to adopt Common Core education standards became the first state to formally abandon the national benchmarks, as Indiana’s State Board of Education voted overwhelmingly Monday for a replacement that will guide student learning for years. The board voted 10 to 1 to endorse the new benchmarks for math and English, which were created by a panel of faculty from Indiana universities and representatives from science and technology industries. Indiana adopted the Common Core in 2010; eventually, 44 other states did, too. But states’ rights advocates and Tea Party members later opposed the standards, saying they were created without adequate local input. In response, Indiana lawmakers passed legislation pausing the start of the Common Core and requiring a review to find a replacement. Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, signed legislation in March making Indiana the first state to drop the standards, which are not federally required.”

New York’s case is a different dynamic, owing largely to Diane Ravitch’s work at NYU. It brought a well-articulated liberal opposition to the Common Core from opponents of the corporate education reform movement, writ large. Ravitch supports the idea of curriculum standards, but sees CCSS as yet another means of funneling public school money to private and unaccountable interests. Arne Duncan keeps saying that the only opponents of the Common Core are members of the Tea Party and other extremists. But that’s just not the case.

A common core of stable academic expectations that are immune to politics (Ha! As if…) and present in every state would provide some much needed clarity for teachers and students and would enhance the ability of teachers to share resources. It also benefits the education of students in a mobile society.

I could be wrong, but I believe CCSS is going to be around for a while. I expect opposition to simmer down when President Obama leaves office.

Even in Indiana where CCSS had been defeated, the newly drafted standards looked so much like CCSS that the opponents' underlying politics were revealed to be as shallow as CCSS supporters had claimed.

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected on Indiana! Thanks for explaining New York's position.

Now we'll march away from theory and talk practice.

The Common Core may sound like a blueprint, but I can only say that in FCPS teachers are being told this is the "Cure." We have had no intelligent debate on Common Core. Maybe because Dr. Shelton thinks it reflects "intelligent design." Would it not be nice to have a supeintendent who has a background in education? Would you consider interviewing him to find out what his philosophy of education is? Inquiring readers would love to know.

More importantly, teachers are being asked by literacy specialists to show proof that they are abiding by its precepts. In other words they are told: "Give us tests, quizzes, term papers, reports" that show evidence of abiding by the Common Core or the Literacy Design Collaborative.