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(Des Moines, IA) Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed Executive Order 83 at 8:50a this morning in order to address growing concern among Iowan over the Common Core State Standards.  He is ordering a regular public review of the state standards, asserting Iowa’s sovereignty over standards and assessments, and ordering that only aggregate data required by federal law be disclosed.

The language of executive order 83 is below:

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 I ncludes 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

Update: Here is a copy of the signed executive order.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-by-SA 2.0)

7 comments
  1. When reviewing State Standards there should always be a public forum where people have the opportunity to share their concerns.

  2. Why didn’t he take it a step further and leave that to the local school boards and not the State Department of Education. That is real sovereignty.

  3. Good move! Everyone should read two books, “The Smartest Kids in the World, and How They Got that way,” And the “Beautiful Tree.” Both provide good things to think about as we try to address our stagnant education system!

  4. Well, Terry, you rushed into this crazy core hoseshit way too fast to begin with. Like I said years ago…..why do we still have local school boards…when the feds and the teachears onion dictate what must be done to our kids.

    1. The unions are in most of the local school boards around the country, and in many places, the districts don’t allow local school boards to have a say in teaching children, anyway.

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