Shifting Defense?

After the couple of newspaper editorials defending the Common Core just over a week ago, I was interested to see the following headlines, the first from the Iowa DE website and the second from The Gazette:

Iowa’s Teacher of the Year supports Iowa Core

Iowa Gov. Branstad still supportive of statewide educational standards

I’m wondering if we are seeing a purposeful shift in language to deemphasize the Common Core, and an attempt to talk about and defend the Iowa Core instead. Note that the Common Core English/language arts and mathematics standards were adopted by the State Board of Education and are now part of the Iowa Core (with no more than 15% modification from the Common Core allowed, as I recall), which also includes standards for science, social studies, and 21st century skills.

In The Gazette article, Governor Branstad is quoted talking about setting state standards while giving local control. The Gazette also describes the Iowa Core as “a state-specific set of standards.” Then there is this:

Iowa is a governing state in one of the Common Core testing consortiums, called Smarter Balanced, but Branstad stressed it doesn’t mean he favors a national exam.

He said he’s “tried to make it extremely clear that Iowa has our own standards, and we’re going to focus on things that improve achievement in Iowa.” (Emphasis added.)

See also the DE feature, where the English/language arts standards are consistently referred to as the Iowa Core. Also interesting? A brief history of the Iowa Core that points the finger at the Iowa Legislature for leading the shift away from local standards but omits the State Board of Education’s role in adopting the Common Core.

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