Iowa Assessment Task Force Recommends Smarter Balanced


Dr. Brad Buck

I reported at Caffeinated Thoughts that the Iowa Assessment Task Force voted 20 to 1 to recommend Smarter Balanced for Iowa’s new assessment.


Here is what Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck had to say.

I’m very inspired by the Iowans on this task force who came together around a challenging task and carried out a fair, transparent process that gave careful consideration to an issue that is very important to Iowa.  We are working as an education system to ensure every door of opportunity is open to all students, and a high-quality state assessment is one key component of that work. We must have an assessment that is closely aligned with our state standards, reflects what is taught in our classrooms, and moves us toward having students demonstrate high levels of knowledge and skills because that’s what’s expected in a global economy.

Remember Smarter Balanced is the consortium that Governor Terry Branstad and Dr. Buck pulled Iowa out of, and now that the election is over we will apparently be back in – if the Iowa Legislature approves.  We must apply a lot of pressure on our legislators to reject this assessment.

Read the rest of my coverage here.  We’ll share more information and action items as the Iowa Legislature’s is closer to gaveling in.


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. Aside from costs noted on the Caffeinated Thoughts blog, are there strong reasons to reject this assessment?

    For what it is worth: it is fairly well known in Iowa public education circles (and backed up by an external study – I’d be happy to share the report) that the Iowa Assessments are poorly aligned (depending on the grade-level, sometimes less than 60% alignment between standards and assessment prompts) with our state’s math and ELA standards.

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