branstadt

Finally! A governor who gets it. Education is a state right. The federal government has no right to demand that a state adopt certain academic standards in order to receive grant money or other federal funding. Congratulations to Shane Vanderhart of Truth In American Education and Iowans For Local Control.

Here is the text of Branstad’s executive order:

 Executive Order Number Eighty-three

WHEREAS,  the Iowa Constitution encourages a strong educational foundation by providing that, “[t]he General Assembly shall encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement” (Iowa Const. art. IX, 2d, § 3); and 

WHEREAS,    rigorous state standards detailing expected academic achievement are essential to provide a     high-quality education, which is key to students’ futures and the future of this state; and

WHEREAS,   the adoption of state standards should be done in an open, transparent way that includes opportunities for Iowans to review and offer input; and

WHEREAS,   it is the responsibility of local school districts to make decisions related to curricula, instruction, and learning materials consistent with state academic standards; and

WHEREAS,  it is inappropriate for the federal government to require as a condition of application of federal grants the adoption of any federally developed standards; and

WHEREAS,   the protection of student and family privacy is paramount and Iowa must protect its citizens against intrusive, unnecessary data collection and tracking.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, declare the following:

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.  The Iowa Department of Education shall develop a regular review cycle for the Iowa Core, including public comment, to determine the contents of and to continually improve state academic standards.

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.  School districts may also choose to use additional assessments to measure student academic progress.

The collection of student data by school districts and the Iowa Department of Education shall be done in a manner consistent with state and federal laws intended to protect student and family privacy.  Only aggregate student data shall be provided to the federal government to comply with federal laws.

No Constitutional right of Iowa children and their families shall be violated through an overreach by the federal government into Iowa’s educational system.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I HAVE HERE­UNTO SUBSCRIBED MY NAME AND CAUSED THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF IOWA TO BE AFFIXED.  DONE AT DES MOINES THIS 16TH DAY OF OCTOBER IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN.

__________________________________
TERRY E. BRANSTAD
GOVERNOR OF IOWA
ATTEST:
_______________________________
MATT SCHULTZ
SECRETARY OF STATE

The order also states that school districts may also choose to use additional assessments to measure student progress, breaking the monopoly of the massive test providers like Pearson and ACT.

 

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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