Iowa Governor Branstad Puts Smarter Balanced on Hold


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Here is some surprising news after Iowa Governor Terry Branstad vetoed a line item in last year’s appropriations bill that would have delayed the implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessments. KWWL reports that he is ordering the implementation of the assessment be put on hold.

Governor Branstad’s office has asked the Department of Education to freeze the move to Smarter Balanced exams for now.

The exams are aligned with the Iowa Core and schools were planning to make the shift in the spring of 2018.

“The governor’s office understands some legislators have concerns about the selection process for the statewide math and reading test,” said Ben Hammes, a spokesperson for the governor.

Lawmakers will now talk about those assessment options this session.

The Department of Education says all of the professional learning resources and materials for Smarter Balanced will be held for now.

I wrote recently at Truth in American Education that this year held a lot of promise to actually move on dealing with Common Core with a Republican majority in the Iowa Senate, expanded majority in the Iowa House, and with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad stepping down when he is confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China. We are also getting a sense of what this move will cost local school districts.

This is promising news.

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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