Statement From Bob Wise, President Of The Alliance For Excellent Education, On Common Core Standards Initiative
Washington, DC – This morning, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released the first official public draft of the college- and career-readiness standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K–12. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued the following statement:
“This draft represents a significant, but early, step on the road toward the promise of common standards for our nation. This first step describes the destination for what a student needs to graduate from high school, next comes filling in the academic map for getting there by development of standards for the earlier grades down to Kindergarten. Another crucial step in this process is ensuring the right mix of resources is in place in order for these standards to be meaningful. Over time, assessments and instructional materials aligned to the new standards will need to be developed to yield real and meaningful improvement in the classroom experience.
“The 51 states and territories that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative are embarking on an important mission to deliver a quality education to each and every child and to help all students graduate college- and career-ready. These state leaders are dedicated to tilting the educational scales back in U.S. students’ favor. One set of common, rigorous standards will go a long way in ensuring every student, from Montana to Manhattan, has what it takes to compete with their international peers. It is essential to the success of our economy that these standards are fewer, clearer, higher, and internationally benchmarked.
“Beyond helping the United States regain a competitive international foothold, these standards also must prepare students to compete in our own tough economy. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the nationwide unemployment rate for high school dropouts was 15.4 percent in July, compared to 9.4 percent for high school graduates, 7.9 percent for individuals with some college credits or an associate’s degree, and 4.7 percent for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Our country can no longer afford low expectations in the classroom, low performing students, or low levels of educational attainment.
“The Alliance has been a part of this effort since the beginning and looks forward to continuing its work with the NGA Center, CCSSO, and other partners to continue to inform and support a robust and complete common standards process.”
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit www.all4ed.com.