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Donna Lynne, Executive President, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals

Today’s workplace demands highly educated employees who can succeed in an increasingly complex and global economy. As a business leader and parent, I am impressed with the hard work and innovative strategies educators engage in daily to meet the needs of students.

Yet, despite these efforts, I also see that far too many students are not getting the education and skills they need. These skills include problem- solving, critical thinking, navigating ambiguity, collaborating, and communicating with clarity. This is what I look for in new employees. And these are the competencies and skills that Colorado is on the path to helping students attain through the use of the Common Core State Standards.

Colorado has adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math as part of its Colorado Academic Standards. These state-developed standards, adopted by 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense, outline rigorous expectations for what all students should know and be able to do.

They incorporate the best and highest of previous state standards in the U.S. and are internationally benchmarked to the top performing nations around the world. The standards provide students, parents and teachers with a shared, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn at every grade level and in each subject.

This op-ed was originally published in The Denver Post on May 15, 2013. Click here to continue reading: Core standards are education’s best hope – The Denver Post

Donna Lynne is the group president for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. She serves on the board of Colorado Succeeds, and is a member of the Colorado Legacy Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, and Teach for America-Colorado. She also co-chairs the Denver Education Compact with Mayor Michael Hancock.