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The Colorado Academic Standards, which include the Common Core Standards, describe what students need to learn by the end of a school year. These help ensure that all students, no matter where they live, have an opportunity to achieve success after school.

By reaching for and exceeding Colorado’s high academic standards, our youth will develop the resiliency and skills to excel in college and become top performers in any profession.



By 2020, 74% of Colorado jobs will require some post-secondary education. Currently, only 22 of every 100 high school students end up with that credential. As a result, Colorado schools currently are producing less than half of the workers needed to fill the top 30 occupations with the largest projected openings.

Strong academic preparation will give our children the skills and confidence they need to achieve their dreams.



Colorado’s economy is rising to meet the needs of the 21st century but the state’s employers don’t have enough skilled candidates so they increasingly import workers from other states and countries.

With the higher expectations set by Colorado’s new academic standards, which include the Common Core Standards, our students will keep pace with the constant change in our communities, our business climate, and our world.



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The latest news from Future Forward Colorado

Business Leaders Talk Colorado Academic Standards


Colorado business leaders, including Jesus Salazar of Credera and Kelly Brough of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, support the Colorado Academic Standards because they raise the bar for our students. These higher standards will better prepare Colorado’s students for the rigors of college and the workforce, and ultimately strengthen our pipeline of homegrown, skilled workers.

But don’t take our word for it. Hear what the local business community has to say.

Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs


Check out this new video from our partners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the importance of high academic standards.

Business Leaders Know Common Core Is Essential to America’s Workforce


Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Cheryl Oldham is the Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Another summer has come and gone and students across the country are getting acclimated to new teachers, new classrooms, new books, and new friends. The beginning of this school year provides us with an opportunity to look back over the past 12 months at the successes and the challenges as high education standards were implemented across the country. Despite what you may have heard, the 2014–2015 school year was an overwhelming success for high standards and, more importantly, for students being taught necessary skills to thrive beyond high school.

Much of the media coverage about the Common Core State Standards would make you believe that states are running away from the standards left and right. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, no states repealed the standards during their 2015 legislative sessions. That’s right. None. In fact, teachers are using the Common Core State Standards (or their equivalent in some states) in classrooms from coast to coast, and students are beginning to reap the benefits. (Read The 74 Flashcards: 20 Basic Things to Know About the Common Core)


The Common Core is today’s New Math – which is actually a good thing



Kevin Knudsen is a professor of mathematics at the University of Florida

Math can’t catch a break. These days, people on both ends of the political spectrum are lining up to deride the Common Core standards, a set of guidelines for K-12 education in reading and mathematics. The Common Core standards outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. States don’t have to adopt the standards, although many did in an effort to receive funds from President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative.

Conservatives oppose the guidelines because they generally dislike any suggestion that the federal government might have a role to play in public education at the state and local level; these standards, then, are perceived as a threat to local control.

Liberals, mostly via teachers’ unions, decry the use of the standards and the associated assessments to evaluate classroom instructors.

And parents of all persuasions are panicked by their sudden inability to help their children with their homework. Even comedian Louis CK got in on the discussion (via Twitter; he has since deactivated his account).  more

Were teachers involved in developing PARCC?


In a recent video from Real Learning for Real Life, Colorado educators discuss the role they played in developing our state’s new high quality assessment. Check it out!


Podcast: Why Improving Education is Essential to Your Bottom Line


Why is improving our education system important for businesses’ bottom lines? As Colorado business leaders know, it’s simple: Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce. And a skilled and educated workforce is essential for U.S. businesses to remain competitive at home and abroad.

Cheryl Oldham, Vice President of Education and Workforce Policy with the US Chamber of Commerce, recently discussed this exact topic in a podcast from The Business Impact. During the interview, Oldham highlighted the importance of higher standards, accountability, and effective business engagement in our schools. Check it out.

USA Today: Test opt-outs teach kids wrong lesson


Ik1AqEj4_400x400For as long as tests have been given, students have been dreaming up ways to get out of them. But parents usually saw through excuses and prevailed to keep kids in classrooms on exam day.

Not anymore.

As another school year begins, parents in pockets across the country, from Seattle to Long Island, are protesting what they see as excessive standardized testing. They are refusing to let their children take mandated statewide tests — an action in which anger has overtaken good judgment.

Granted, the tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind law aren’t ideal. In many places, a focus on test-prep has shortchanged more effective ways of teaching. But like them or not, the tests are the most objective measures of student progress and school performance. They shouldn’t be dumped by individual parents in political protest.


Former teacher: Common Core doesn’t kill creativity


shutterstock_106380011Former teacher Lisette Partelow is tired of hearing that the Common Core Standards inhibit teacher creativity and recently put pen to paper to let people know “it’s simply not true.”

In a recent piece in US News, Partelow explained how the standards were designed to allow for flexibility and creativity in the classroom. She shared several examples to demonstrate that the standards do not define what teachers should teach or how students should learn, rather, they focus on what students need to know. Take, for instance, the Common Core math standards, which are “less concerned that students master a single prescribed approach to getting the right answer” and instead emphasize students’ understanding that there are multiple ways to solve a problem correctly.


Common Core helps military parents


Photo source: TigerSwan

Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks is the former commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center.

It might be strange to hear a retired Army guy commend the new system of standardized tests given to students from elementary to high school, but if there’s one thing military personnel know well, it’s how to measure achievement and progress.

Everything that an individual does, a unit does, even the Defense Department does is measured against a known and accepted standard. That is how we determine readiness and operational success. If our standards are off, the consequences of mission failure can be very serious.

So we take great care in developing our standards, take the time to ensure that everyone who will be assessed understands the benchmarks, and then devote effort to after-action reports to learn more about our strengths and our weaknesses.