DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is removing Iowa from an organization created to develop an assessment system for the Common Core education standards.

A Branstad spokesman said Tuesday that Branstad last week sent a letter to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, seeking to terminate Iowa's membership. The consortium, which is composed of states, has been working to establish a testing program.

In his letter, Branstad says a state task force is reviewing Iowa's assessment needs and will provide recommendations in January. Out of respect for that work, he says the state will not continue in the consortium.

The Common Core standards have been adopted by more than 40 states but have been criticized by conservatives. Iowa has blended many Common Core components into the Iowa Core.

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