Governor Branstad: We Want Iowa Common Core Standards….


Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds
Photo credit: Dave Davidson –

The National Governors Association met and the Common Core State Standards was not on the agenda.  This is definitely an indicator of growing opposition, as the outgoing chair of the NGA, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, signed a bill repealing the Common Core.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was widely quoted over the weekend on the Common Core.  Below is an excerpt from The Blaze.

The Common Core standards were not on the formal agenda during a three-day meeting of the National Governors Association that ended Sunday, relegated to hallway discussions and closed-door meetings among governors and their staffs. The standards and even the words, “Common Core,” have “become, in a sense, radioactive,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican whose state voluntarily adopted the standards in 2010.

“We want Iowa Common Core standards that meet the needs of our kids,” Branstad said, echoing an intensifying sentiment from tea party leaders who describe the education plan as an attempt by the federal government to take over local education.

Governor Branstad has the opportunity to make that happen.  He can take the same type of action that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took without the threat of legal action as the Iowa Constitution does not give our State Board of Education the same type of power that the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has.

He can today repeal the Common Core outright and pull Iowa out of Smarter Balanced by executive order.

His previous executive order didn’t get the job done.

It’s understandable why he is feeling the heat, in a Caffeinated Thoughts reader survey of likely Iowa voters Common Core was an issue that made an impact in the Governor’s race among its survey participants:

We asked if our readers had knowledge about the Common Core State Standards – a national set of English and Math standards adopted by the Iowa Board of Education in 2010.  86% of our readers had knowledge of the standards, and of those readers 82.8% said they oppose the standards with just 10.1% who said they support them.  In fact, 67.7% of those readers strongly opposed the Common Core compared to 5.7% who strongly supported the Common Core.  There is even a wider gap among readers who have school-aged children.  More than 9 out of 10 parents reject the Common Core State Standards.

In a side note our readers who said they strongly oppose Common Core favor Hieb who as actively opposed the Common Core over Branstad in Iowa’s Governor’s race by slightly more than 15 points – 45.7% to 30.3%.

He should be worried, but rhetoric from his surrogates and a weak executive order won’t convince voters who oppose Common Core that he is listening on this issue.  Tangible action – repealing the Common Core outright will.

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. Paula Coyle says:

    So basically he is still for the dumbing down and government indoctrination of school children, he just wants to play the shell game.

  2. Mike Wedge says:

    Shane—You do know that the common core was written by STATE (not Federal) governments in an attempt to increase the rigor and relevance of our children’s education? You do know that states can collaborate on developing assessments and resources (as well as cost sharing)? “Local” control has been twisted beyond recognition by you. Teachers are trained to implement curriculum, not design it. We rely on researchers, cognitive experts and curriculum designers to help us understand developmental stages for children i.e. what should be taught and at what grade. Teachers, by and large, (I don’t want to speak for the entire profession) simply want a coherent, rigorous curriculum to follow. People like you, who constantly sabotage educational progress only make the system worse. If you don’t want your kids “destroyed” by common core, you have the right to home school them. I’m still trying to understand what your opposition is to the common core? What exactly is your solution??? Let each classroom teacher decide arbitrary what to do, so that kids in third grade in Smithtown are taught multiplication, but kids in second grade in Williamton learn multiplication then? Seriously?? So, we repeal common core and replace it with what, exactly?? What are your credentials and training so that you can make these assertions? So, if we repeal common core, what about all the millions spent on training teachers? What are we supposed to do then?

    I don’t dispute your right to argue against something, but what concerns me is that you are not a problem solver in any respect and that you don’t have any factual basis for your claims.

    • I never said the Feds wrote it. Achieve wrote the standards, not the states.
      Keep coming with the canned talking points though.

      • Mike Wedge says:

        I noticed *again* you did not refute any of the ideas I put forth. Yes, Achieve is the non-profit organization hired/used by a group of state governments to write the common core.

        • I’m not going to bother when your premise is “the states wrote it.”

          Why waste my time?

          • Mike Wedge says:

            A premise is statement or proposition based on an inference and forms the basis of a plot. So, I would argue that it’s not my premise that “the states wrote common core,” it’s a fact. Again, it was a group of State-level organizations (National Governor’s Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, etc.)

            1. Okay, if the states did not write them, who did??
            2. Your animosity (bordering of hatred) of common core is obvious, but why? I’m legitimately interested in knowing where this emotionalism is derived from.
            3. Again, if common core is the devil’s work, what would you propose we replace it with?
            4. What about all the money, time and effort Iowa has put into implementation of common core? To state that “things were better before” is just patently false….in order for Iowa to compete at the national and international level, shouldn’t we use a curriculum that is researched based and would put us on track to better compete?
            5. A common “fault” with common core is that it’s “too hard” and test scores drop dramatically (as was the case when Kentucky first assessed it). Yes, common core does raise the bar and it will take time for kids to reach it. As an actual classroom teacher (someone who is intimately involved in curricular issues), I can tell you that it takes time to shift and adjust.
            6. I will most certainly stipulate that the educational system has many, many flaws, but….one of them is NOT common core. Indeed, common core was designed to rectify a problem (the lack of a coherent approach to education).
            7. I’m certainly not saying you can not be against common core, I’m just trying to better understand your position, just like I would if you had a child in my classroom. I wished more parents did ask questions of their teachers and educational leaders about curricular issues, but you’re going to have to provide more of a basis for your claims.

            “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, not their own facts.” – Daniel Moynihan.

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