August 2013

Jaylon Burleson, a third-grade student at Denver s Marrama Elementary School,  works on a writing exercise in this 2011 file photo.

The Common Core education standards are being criticized as too tough. An edict from above. Another way of tightening the tyrannical grip of standardized testing on education.

We hope the road ahead for the Common Core — a set of standards that the District of Columbia and 45 states, including Colorado, have agreed to adopt — gets smoother because it has a lot to offer the nation’s students.

First, let’s talk about what the Common Core is not. It is not a common curriculum or an effort to nationalize education.

It’s a way of ensuring that the nation’s school districts are aiming for the same level of proficiency on an agreed-upon menu of things that kids should know. How you get there is your choice.

We think it’s long overdue. And if it raises the bar, that’s a good thing. (more…)

Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and John Engler is president of the Business Roundtable.

Rocky Mountain Prep 6America’s public K-12 education system isn’t making the grade.

It’s not adequately preparing our students to succeed in college or the modern workforce. It’s not delivering the skilled workers that businesses need to drive stronger economic growth. It’s not helping advance America’s ability to compete and lead in the global economy. In short, it’s setting our nation up to fail.

Although there are exceptions, American public schools are generally producing fewer students with the skills they need for long-term success. Proficiency in fundamental disciplines is slipping.

Among the 34 leading industrialized countries, the United States ranks 14th in reading literacy, 17th in science and a dismal 25th in math. It should surprise no one that we’ve fallen from No. 1 in the world in the percentage of young adults with college degrees to No. 10. (more…)