Hats off to my home state!  If only my current one was as wise.  Let's hope they go back to their old standbies ITBS/ITED/ACT, all among Iowa's best exports, corn and hogs notwithstanding.  Let's include in our nightly prayers that their leadership not be swayed by (let alone be in cahoots with - as with the college intending SAT) the CCSS-M.  For those with an interest in seeing just how bad the SBAC guided exams in mathematics are planning to be, try your hand with their sample tests:
        Select the bicycle with training wheels on the right (student practice and training tests)
        Sign in as Guest (fill in nothing), select a grade, and follow your nose.


At 10:24 AM 8/7/2014, Jerry Becker wrote:
From Education Week [American Education's Newspaper of Record], Thursday, August 7, 2014. See http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2014/08/iowa_withdraws_from_smarter_ba.html?r=1172343336&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3&preview=1
Iowa Announces Withdrawal From Smarter Balanced Testing Group
By Catherine Gewertz

Iowa says it's withdrawing from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, citing the need to design a test that is "the right fit for Iowa."

In a letter to the consortium dated July 29, reported yesterday by the blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Gov. Terry Branstad and schools chief Brad Buck noted that the Iowa legislature created a task force in 2013 to explore the state's assessment options. They said that the task force would "give careful consideration to all options." [See http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Smarter-Balance-7.29.14.pdf ]

But it appears that "all options" doesn't include Smarter Balanced, because Branstad and Buck asked the consortium to make Iowa's "withdrawal ... effective immediately" and to drop the state from its list of members.

Iowa's plan to use a test other than Smarter Balanced isn't a secret; We reported to you a couple months ago that despite its membership in Smarter Balanced, Iowa had opted to stick with its own test for 2015. Education Week's map of states' testing plans shows that while all but 15 belong to Smarter Balanced or PARCC, only half of the states actually plan to use those tests in 2015.
Smarter Balanced's map of members still includes Iowa, but presumably that will soon change, leaving SBAC with 21 state members. [See http://visual.ly/common-standards-and-assessment-consortia-membership AND http://www.smarterbalanced.org/about/member-states/ ]

Smarter Balanced, however, doesn't see the situation as quite that cut and dried. The consortium is aware that Iowa won't be using its test next year, but would not confirm that it has withdrawn from the group.

"We do not have confirmation of their plans regarding Smarter Balanced membership," spokeswoman Jacqueline King wrote in an email. She noted that states that aren't using the test but would still "like to stay engaged" in the consortium will have the option of being "affiliate members," she said.