Site menu:


January 2015 Policy Study, Number 15-1


Why the Common Core Is Bad for Iowa!


Implementation of CCSS in Iowa



Now in Iowa you don’t hear the standards referred to as the CCSS — they are the “Iowa Core.”  But if you visit the Iowa Department of Education Website, you will see an entire Website developed around the Iowa Core (  As the development of the Iowa Core was under way, the development of the CCSS was also going on.  In the summer of 2010, the Iowa Board of Education voted to merge the Iowa Core with the CCSS in exchange for the ability to apply for federal incentive money![27]  By approving these standards, the Iowa Board of Education agreed to fully implement them by the 2014-2015 school year.[28]  The Iowa Department of Education Websites states that:


The vision for the Iowa Core is to ensure the success of each and every student by providing a world-class curriculum. The Iowa Core is designed to improve achievement of all students, preparing them for the world of work and lifelong learning. It identifies the essential content and instruction of critical content areas that all students must experience.[29]


The Iowa Department of Education (DOE) even speaks to the issue that the CCSS are not rigorous.  The Iowa DOE Website states:


In Iowa, the State Board of Education voted in 2010 to blend the Iowa Core with the CCSS through authority vested in the board by the Iowa Legislature. This was an easy decision since the Iowa Core was already similar to the CCSS but embodied some higher academic standards. The overarching goal is to make sure Iowa students meet high state academic standards so they’re ready for college or career training after high school.[30]


Seems to me that this statement shows that the standards that Iowa had developed were of a higher rigor than the CCSS, so why include lower standards?  The Iowa standards were developed in Iowa and not funded by the Gates Foundation.  The Iowa Core has its own faults, but it at least was passed by the Iowa General Assembly and signed into law by former Governor Chet Culver.  This is not the case with the CCSS being rolled into the Iowa Core.  If the state is agreeing to a national standard then I really think that is something that the Iowa General Assembly should decide.  We return to the fact that we have laws that prevent the federal Department of Education from “directing, supervising, or controlling elementary and secondary school curriculum, programs of instruction, and instructional materials.”[31] Yet, this is exactly what the CCSS do!


The state of Iowa’s motto is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”[32]  Does this sound like a state that would just accept a mandate from the federal Department of Education without completely reviewing it at all levels?  Iowa has always prided itself on local control for education.  Yet, the CCSS is the opposite of local control.  It allows the federal Department of Education to dictate what our children are learning and how they are learning it. 




Click here for pdf copy of this Policy Study


All of our publications are available for sponsorship.  Sponsoring a publication is an excellent way for you to show your support of our efforts to defend liberty and define the proper role of government.  For more information, please contact Public Interest Institute at 319-385-3462 or e-mail us at