Iowa has withdrawn from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Now what?
Aside from the fact that Iowa will not be participating as a governing state in establishing achievement level cut scores this fall, as a practical matter, not much has changed.
Neither the Governor nor the Director of the Iowa Department of Education has the authority to choose the statewide accountability assessment. The Iowa Legislature has retained the authority to choose the statewide accountability assessment and is awaiting recommendations from the Assessment Task Force, established by HF215, which are due by January 1, 2015.
The Smarter Balanced Assessments and the Next Generation Iowa Assessments, being developed by the Iowa Testing Program, are the two assessments that remain under consideration by the Task Force.
The Smarter Balanced Assessments item bank can be used by non-member states; withdrawal from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium does not preclude the Iowa Legislature adopting either the Smarter Balanced Assessments or an assessment created using Smarter Balanced items.
As a political matter, it seems that something has changed, it just isn’t yet clear to me what. Has executive branch support for the Smarter Balanced Assessments actually weakened or is something else going on? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
Shane Vander Hart at Caffeinated Thoughts broke the news on Iowa withdrawing from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. He plans to update his blog post as new information comes in.
EdWeek reported on this story at Iowa Announces Withdrawal From Smarter Balanced Testing Group.
See the Iowa House Republican Newsletter (page 6) for additional coverage.