Iowa DOE 2009 Presser on Common Core State Standards Initiative

Iowa Department of Education logo

I was trolling the Iowa Department of Education website looking for specific information, like their signed memorandum of understanding for the Common Core (which I couldn’t find), and ran across the press release they sent out in 2009 about joining the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  I’m not entirely sure of the date as it wasn’t listed.

Iowa Joins 49 States in Common Core Standards Initiative

Iowa has joined the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a state-led process to develop common English-language arts and mathematics standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative will be jointly led by the NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

In addition to Iowa, the following states and territories have also signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Dakota; Tennessee; Utah; Vermont; Virgin Islands; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming.

By signing this MOA, Governor Chet Culver and Iowa Department of Education Director Judy Jeffrey join their colleagues across the country in committing to joining a state-led process to develop a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. These standards will be research and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, aligned with college and work expectations and include rigorous content and skills.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative will build directly on recent efforts of leading organizations and states that have focused on developing college-and career-ready standards and ensure that these standards can be internationally benchmarked to top-performing countries around the world. The goal is to have a common core of state standards that states can voluntarily adopt. States may choose to include additional standards beyond the common core as long as the common core represents at least 85 percent of the state’s standards in English language arts and mathematics. The second phase of this initiative is to ultimately develop common assessments aligned to the core standards developed through the process.

“Iowa is fortunate to have not only state core content standards, but also the Iowa Core Curriculum, which provides rigorous expectations for all students and gives teachers the tools to change teaching and learning in this state,” Jeffrey said. “With our recently passed Iowa Core Curriculum, Iowa can easily incorporate national standards because the Core Curriculum provides more explicit guidance to reach high expectations.”

The NGA Center and CCSSO will coordinate the process to develop these standards and will create an expert validation committee to provide an independent review of the common core state standards, as well as the standards. This committee will be composed of nationally and internationally recognized and trusted education experts who are neutral to – and independent of – the process. The college and career ready standards are expected to be completed in July 2009.

The standards work is expected to be completed in December 2009.

One broken promise here –  where was the independent review? The Fordham Institute doesn’t count since they were funded by the Gates Foundation who funded the entire process.  Notice too how they say that the Common Core MUST encompass at least 85% of our standards in math and English?  The person who wrote the press release has either a problem with counting (so maybe they needed better math standards) or didn’t know what a state is… since in their list Alaska and Texas were missing as neither signed on to the MOA.  So that would be 48 states.  The District of Columbia, Guam and Virgin Islands are not states, but if they were counting those two that would be 51.

Oh how we miss the Culver administration, at least the current administration knows how to count.  It’s too bad I didn’t see this in 2009, I would have had a hey-day with it.  It would seem nobody picked up on it as the Common Core was not something reported by the media even then.

About Shane Vander Hart

Shane Vander Hart founded Iowans for Local Control in 2012 which later merged with Iowa RestorEd. Shane also is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts and the founder and president of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.

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