Shane Vander Hart
Kaufmann during his remarks mentioned a couple of different times that “this is not rhetoric, it’s results.” Unfortunately his statement on local control and education standards is just that.
Governor Branstad has even been reported to say that he rejected Common Core. He seems quite confused on the matter.
Let me be clear, again, Governor Branstad did not reject the Common Core. Governor Branstad does not believe in local control there is NOTHING in his entire time as Governor that would indicate that. To Governor Branstad and Mr. Kaufmann I would say you keep using that phrase “local control” I do not think it means what you think it means. Centralization of education in Iowa began under Governor Branstad’s watch. Anybody remember forced school consolidations in the 80s and 90s being directed by the Iowa Department of Education? Then we have his push to control school start times, the bullying bill he’s pushing, and today he even signed a bill requiring school districts and accredited non-public schools to share their radon testing and mitigation plans with the Iowa Department of Education. There has been nothing, but mandates or the desire to implement mandates on public schools.
That doesn’t even touch what he desired to do in his first education reform bill and agenda which, fortunately, did not go through as originally written.
With Governor Branstad’s executive order we slammed the barn door closed after the horse got out. I addressed this at Iowans for Local Control...
In regards to curriculum, schools were able to choose curriculum before, but it makes precious little difference when 46 states, who have embraced the Common Core at least in part, are driving the textbook and curriculum market toward “Common Core-aligned” resources. It’s like saying “you can choose anything you want as long as its Common Core.” The only way for that to change is for states to pull out, for real, not just rebranding. With the Common Core though it is full steam ahead. Also the Branstad administration is still going after Federal education grants which come with Federal strings attached. The Iowa Department of Education is still working toward implementing the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced Assessment with several school district piloting the assessment this year.
Hoefling in a press release sent yesterday stated, “I don’t know why they think they can get away with this, frankly. It is obvious to any honest observer that Terry Branstad continues to support Common Core, and that he has done nothing of any real substance in this legislative session to stop it. It is also clear that the Branstad executive order from last October that they constantly cite did nothing to stop the implementation of Common Core. That was, to put it simply, a political smokescreen, and everybody who has looked into this question closely knows it.”
Hoefling added, “Support for the Common Core standards, which amount to the final blow against any remaining vestige of local control of our schools, is bad enough. But when the Governor and his campaign staffers go out on the campaign trail and try to deceive the people of this state, that takes things to a whole new level. It is now more than just a disagreement over public policy. It is a question of honesty and integrity.”
I agree. When it comes to the Common Core and his so called belief in local control in education the rhetoric just plain rings hollow.