Democrats attempt to bring expansion of Iowa Core to House floor

Assessment TestsBy Bob Eschliman


Wednesday morning, Education Democrats in the Iowa House attempted to bring a bill to the floor that would primarily expand the “academic indicators” for which students will be measured via the Iowa Core Curriculum.

State Rep. Todd Taylor (D-Cedar Rapids) made a motion at the beginning of the day’s business to bring House File 269 out of committee. That bill adds writing and social studies to the academic indicators that the Iowa Board of Education must adopt for students in grades 4, 8, and 11.

Currently, students at those levels are assessed in mathematics and reading, and students in grades 8 and 11 are assessed in science.

The bill also makes corresponding changes to the annual statewide progress reports the Iowa Department of Education is required to submit, as well as to student eligibility criteria for the Senior Year Plus Program and to areas which school improvement advisory committees may make goal recommendations to public school districts and accredited non-public schools.

Taylor’s motion was in order per House Rule 60 that allows that any bill that has been in committee for 18 legislative days after it has been noted in the House Journal may be brought out of committee and placed on the debate calendar with a vote of at least 51 representatives. Taylor requested a recorded roll call vote.

The measure failed on a 56-40 vote. State Reps. Bob Kressig (D-Cedar Falls), Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines), and Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque), and House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake), were absent and excused from the House for the day.

The House also unanimously adopted three other bills Wednesday. They were:

  • House File 488 – an act to establish an Iowa Reading Corps program administered by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service.
  • House File 599 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to the division of assets and liabilities of school districts involved in a reorganization or dissolution, amended to apply only to Secure an Advanced Vision for Education Fund monies.
  • House File 588 – an act to establish five-year window placards for people with disabilities to allow parking in handicapped parking stalls.