From the NY Times opinion section: full page add http://www.achievethecore.org/business-speaks-for-the-core#letter
This ran as a full page in the NY Times. It is hand to hand combat now!
What are the Common Core State Standards?
In 2010, 46 states and the District of Columbia adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of consistent expectations for what students should master in grades K-12. The CCSS are rigorous, internationally-benchmarked standards that are designed to ensure that students leave school with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and careers. The CCSS ARE NOT a national curriculum, or federally mandated. The CCSS will have aligned assessments where scores will be available faster, providing parents and teachers the ability to immediately intervene and support struggling students.
The need to raise student achievement in the public education system is clear, as American students are leaving school without the skills and education needed to succeed.
Once leading the world in academic scores and education attainment, the United States has fallen behind other top performing countries:
- The United States ranks 25th out of 34 top performing countries in Math, and 17th in Science.
- The United States has fallen from 1st to 10th in the number of students who graduate high school, and ranks 12th in the number of 24-36 year-olds with a college degree.
- Approximately 27% of high school students do not graduate, and only 40% of high school students enter some form of college or university.
Currently, individuals who achieve post-secondary education may also still lack content and skills knowledge that match employer needs. This weakens the United States’ ability to produce a workforce that is fully prepared to compete in the local, national, and global economies. As a result, 3.4 million jobs in the United States go unfilled a year because there are not enough qualified candidates to fill them.
How Can Business Support the Common Core State Standards?
Without proper implementation, with different outcomes for students, and without proper preparation for teachers, the United States will never catch up to high performing countries, and the economy will continue to suffer.
- Communicate. Business leaders can speak to the need for higher standards from an economic perspective. The CCSS will help develop a workforce that can meet the demands of the 21st century economy.
- Engage. Encourage employees to reach out to local school districts and leverage business skills (innovation, quality control, continuous improvement, etc.) to support CCSS implementation.
- Encourage.Support school districts and communities as they stay the course.
Your voice must be heard as a steady and consistent proponent for college and career ready standards in K-12 education.
For more information, please access the following resources:
For businesses: achieve.org/achieving-common-core
For parents: PTA Parents’ Guide to Student Success
For Educators: achievethecore.org
Open Letter from 73 Business Leaders, Feb 2013
As business leaders, we believe that ALL American children have a right to an education that prepares them to be successful in a competitive global economy. We also understand that in order to compete in a knowledge-based, global economy, we must improve the academic performance of our students. The United States is once again at a critical place in its quest for educational excellence, and the need for a strong employer voice is greater than ever. America’s business leaders can make a positive difference for schools, students and the country’s future if we join together and share our expectations for education and our support for the people and institutions that move education reform forward.
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative, led by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, has produced Kñ12 standards in the foundational subjects of math and English that meet the business community’s expectations: they are college- and career-ready, grounded in evidence and internationally benchmarked. The CCSS set consistent, focused, rigorous academic expectations for all students, and 46 states and the District of Columbia have already adopted them. The CCSS serve as a necessary foundation for making the changes needed to improve student achievement and ensure the United States’ educational and economic preeminence.
We support these new, tougher academic standards that are currently being rolled out in classrooms across the country. These standards will better prepare students for college and the workplace, something of critical importance to the nation’s employers. The changes now under way in America’s schools hold great promise for creating a more highly skilled workforce that is better equipped to meet the needs of local, state and national economies.
Appeared in the New York Times on February 12, 2013