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Iowa Abandons 'Smarter Balanced' Common Core Test Consortium

Iowa Abandons 'Smarter Balanced' Common Core Test Consortium

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) indicated Wednesday that his state will withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) that is developing tests aligned with the Common Core standards.

According to Shane Vander Hart at Caffeinated Thoughts, a tweet from Jeff Herzberg, chief administrator for the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency, who attended the School Administrators of Iowa Annual Conference, indicated that Branstad would no longer pursue Iowa’s involvement with SBAC:

Vander Hart reported that Jimmy Centers, a Branstad spokesman, said both the governor and Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck sent a joint letter to SBAC on July 29, indicating that the state would be withdrawing from the consortium immediately.

The letter reads that the Iowa Assessment Taskforce is studying the state’s assessment needs and will release its recommendations by January 1, 2015. Branstad and Buck continue:

To honor the work of the taskforce, Iowa will not sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as requested. We recognize that by declining to sign that Iowa will no longer be a governing state in the consortium. We request that Iowa’s withdrawal be effective immediately, and that the consortium no long [sic] list Iowa as a member state.

SBAC and PARCC are the two Common Core test consortia and have been largely funded by the federal government.

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