March 2014


by Jessica Keigan, English Language Arts teacher at Horizon High School in Thornton, Colorado

Last week, I was able to testify on behalf of the Common Core State Standards to the Colorado state senate committee on education, who convened to hear testimony for and against a bill written to pause implementation.

I found out late last Thursday that my voice, along with other voices from CTQ Colorado teachers, parents, union leadership and concerned stakeholders, influenced the committee so much that the proposed bill was voted down by a four to three vote.

As a topic of much debate across the country, here are my remarks on how the Common Core (embedded into our state’s Colorado Academic Standards) have become a positive force for learning and growth in my classroom. (more…)

The Foundation for Excellence in Education, along with the Higher State Standards Partnership, have created new resources about the Common Core, including this video.



Pamela NortonSome of our country’s leading companies such as Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Verizon and Boeing support states who have adopted rigorous K-12 math and reading standards. 

I believe companies will invest in these states and opportunities will flourish in the years ahead because education, business and community groups are collaborating to support higher education standards that will produce students who are workforce and college ready upon graduation. Traditional benefits such as tax breaks and low overheads will continue to be part of the decision, but states that are willing to invest in knowledge capital will now have a major influence where companies locate, expand, recruit and invest in the future.

Unfortunately, Colorado as a state is falling further and further behind in the knowledge gap race. shows the average Denver public school math score was only 46 percent compared to 25 of the world’s top industrialized countries. For reading, Denver’s public school scored only 74 percent compared to the same countries. And while a few local exceptions exist, Colorado public school municipalities, in general, find themselves well behind the mean of the 25 industrial countries included in this report. This is likely a big part of the reason that only 22 out of every 100 students entering high school in our state will earn a post-secondary degree(more…)

by Ross Weiner

The Common Core has started to take political flak from the right and the left. Conservatives worry about the overreach of federal incentives, while unions don’t want the standards connected to teacher evaluations. What is being lost?  The standards’ significant emphasis on reinvigorating the democratic purpose of public education. Making good on this promise presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine and reprioritize the special role that schools play in preparing students for active civic participation. (more…)