Iowa Governor Signs Executive Order Rejecting Common Core
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
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.