Our partners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have a new video out about the importance of high standards. View it here:
The implementation of the Common Core State Standards has stirred up much controversy and debate. Some of this debate is healthy, particularly over how to develop rigorous, common standards and assessments. Also, the criticism of the federal government’s intrusion into a state-led initiative is a legitimate matter for distress. Increasingly, however, lies, myths, exaggerations and hysteria about what the Common Core means and does have dominated the “debate” and the real issues have been obscured. Dishonest critics have decided that the Common Core is a pestilence on the land and have so characterized it. It is not. (more…)
Major General James “Spider” Marks gives powerful testimony as to why military families deserve consistent, high-quality education standards.
We are pretty familiar with this story: A perfectly sensible if slightly boring idea is walking down the street. Suddenly, the ideological circus descends, burying the sensible idea in hysterical claims and fevered accusations. The idea’s political backers beat a craven retreat. The idea dies.
This is what seems to be happening to the Common Core education standards, which are being attacked on the right because they are common and on the left because they are core. (more…)
Common Core is the shorthand for a requirement that, beginning as early as possible in elementary school and continuing throughout high school, students be exposed to, and become comfortable with, a college-prep set of skills. These skills—especially in mathematics and English—will provide a foundation for students to go in any career direction.
This is so transparently a good thing that it’s hard to figure out why anyone would be opposed. That’s especially true for conservatives, who have long believed our education system is underperforming; that student progress needs to be measured; and that teachers and school superintendents should be accountable for better outcomes in the classroom.
Conservatives are instinctively pro-standard. And yet the latest round of opposition to Common Core comes primarily from the right. What gives?
As with so many other major initiatives, those who disagree with any portion of the idea want to scrap the whole thing. Why, they ask, does a 10th grader interested in auto mechanics need to know whether it was David Copperfield or Oliver Twist who asked for more porridge? (Hint: It was Oliver.) Why does that same student need to pass Algebra II to achieve proficiency in setting the timing on a Tesla “S” model electric car? (Hint: Electric cars don’t have timing issues.)
Not every high-school student needs to go to a traditional four-year college. But, those who claim we are wasting the time of students who are likely to get on a vocational instead of an academic track are settling for low expectations at a time when we should be setting high expectations.
What if, instead, we made the case that students who were either pushed into a vocational lane or self-selected for it, were being deprived of skills they may need later in life? What if they want to progress beyond being an hourly worker to being the manager of a business, or perhaps owning his or her own business?
When we look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment numbers on the first Friday of every month, we are treated to an amazing graph. That graph shows a straight line in employment from someone who did not finish high school to someone with a professional degree. The line goes up from no high-school diploma through a two-year community college associate’s degree to some four-year college to a college degree through an advanced degree to being a doctor or a lawyer.
Rich Galen is a Republican strategist.
This piece originally appeared in Politico. Read the rest of the piece here.
On behalf of the members of Business Roundtable – more than 200 chief executive officers who lead U.S. companies located in states across the nation from every sector of the economy – I am writing to express our steadfast support for the Common Core State Standards and explain why the Republican Party should support them too.
Watch best-selling author Amanda Ripley moderate a discussion with some of America’s top CEOs on the need for higher academic standards, featuring Jorge L. Benitez, Chief Executive (United States) and Senior Managing Director (North America), Accenture; Frederick Humphries, Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation; Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO, ExxonMobil; Joe Tucci, CEO, EMC.
American students must be able to compete with their peers across the country – not to mention the rest of the world. However, when compared internationally, students from the United States aren’t performing as well as students in other countries, most of which spend far less per pupil. (more…)
The new “Common Core” math and reading standards have come under a firestorm of criticism from tea-party activists and commentators like Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin. Beck calls the standards a stealth “leftist indoctrination” plot by the Obama administration. Malkin warns that they will “eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.” As education scholars at two right-of-center think tanks, we feel compelled to set the record straight.
Here’s what the Common Core State Standards are: They describe what children should know and the skills that they must acquire at each grade level to stay on course toward college- or career-readiness, something that conservatives have long argued for. They were written and adopted by governors—not by the Obama administration—thus preserving state control over K–12 education. And they are much more focused on rigorous back-to-basics content than the vast majority of state standards they replaced. (more…)