No Governor Branstad Did Not Reject the Common Core

terry branstadI had a Eastern Iowa resident contact me last week to discuss a tele-townhall he participated in with Governor Terry Branstad.  He said he was asked about the Common Core and Branstad replied, “I rejected the Common Core.”

During his press conference on Monday when he discussed progress made on the education reform package passed last year. Branstad said he’s “tried to make it extremely clear that Iowa has our own standards…”

Yes we have the Iowa Core which consists of math, English language arts, social studies, science, and 21st Century learning skills.  During the Iowa House Education Committee meeting Rosie Hussey, the president of the Iowa State Board of Education and Dr. Brad Buck, director of the Iowa Department of Education, shared a presentation on the Iowa Core and Common Core and indicated that for Iowa’s math and ELA standards, Iowa has added 15%, but Common Core is the base.

So 85% of our standards were written by outside groups.

If you read through Governor Branstad’s executive order there is no rejection of the Common Core.

State Representative Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls) asked Dr. Buck what impact Governor Branstad’s executive order actually has.  Dr. Buck said Branstad “Declared that Iowa will remain in control of standards.  We will not give student-level data to the Feds or proxy of the Feds.  There will be a review process.”  He added they will respect local control.  “We do trust local school boards.  This was an affirmation of what we are already doing as a state.”

The executive order said school districts can choose curriculum.  There is a point of dispute whether Iowa can claim control of Common Core (minus the 15% they added) due to them being copyrighted by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a non-profit created by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers.  Also the order did not mention any “proxy of the Feds.”

But to the larger point Governor Branstad, at least from Dr. Buck’s point of view, did not reject the Common Core.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 3.0)

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 +.


  1. I blogged on a similar theme yesterday. It does seem that there is an attempt being made to distance the Iowa Core and Iowa statewide standards from the Common Core even though, as you point out, the Common Core makes up the bulk of the Iowa Core ELA and math standards.

  2. Branstad wants to be governor again and the only choice between him and Tyler Olson is that one is a republican progressive and the other is a democrat progressive. I have written and written and written to Branstad about how bad this CommonGore is. Have you seen the Hillsdale College video about it? It came out yesterday. I’ll go find it and tweet it to you. It is VERY good. It’s approx. 1 Hr+ in length.

  3. trueWorldview says:

    Building the Machine: Common Core

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