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January 2015 Policy Study, Number 15-1


Why the Common Core Is Bad for Iowa!


What Needs to Happen in Iowa



Governor Branstad signed Executive Order 83 in October 2013, which says, “The State of Iowa, not the federal government or any other organization, shall determine the content of Iowa’s state academic standards, which are known as the Iowa Core.” Additionally, the Executive Order states, “The State of Iowa, not the federal government or any other organization, shall choose the statewide assessments that will measure how well students have mastered the Iowa Core.”[33] 


Iowa backed out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, but the Iowa Assessment Task Force that was created by the education reform bill of 2013 has decided to recommend Smarter Balanced Assessment as the best assessment for Iowa students![34] Their final report is due in “January to the Legislature, to the State Board of Education, and to Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck.”[35]  Well, I see we have made a lot of progress with backing out of that consortium!  Additionally, Shane Vander Hart pointed out the following fact for Iowa taxpayers:


What the Iowa Department of Education failed to announce in their press release is that Smarter Balanced will jack the cost of what taxpayers pay from $3.50 per student per assessment for the Iowa Assessments to $27.30 per student per assessment.  Not to mention many schools simply are not ready to handle online assessments because they either don’t have enough computers or, in some cases, don’t even have broadband access.[36]


Originally 45 states and Washington, D.C., had adopted the CCSS. Since then, Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Carolina have withdrawn from the CCSS.[37]  We have to ask our elected officials to call for a review of the CCSS in the Iowa Core.  The Iowa Legislature needs to review them and decide if we want that much intrusion from the federal Department of Education. 




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