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Topic: Iowa Announces Withdrawal From Smarter Balanced Testing Group
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,657
Registered: 12/3/04
Iowa Announces Withdrawal From Smarter Balanced Testing Group
Posted: Aug 7, 2014 1:24 PM
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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
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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test next year, but would not confirm that it has withdrawn from the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.

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