Business Leaders Support Higher Standards

Wednesday, November 19, 2014Printer-friendly version

Some of the staunchest supporters of higher standards are found in the business community. Business leaders realize the critical importance of holding students to high academic standards; after all, today's students represent tomorrow's workforce. Here are some business leaders who lend their voices of support to higher standards:  

Common Core hasn't hurt even the best schools

By Craig Barrett, The Arizona Republic

October 27, 2014  

"Business leaders, educators and parents agree that we all want what's best for Arizona students. Essential to this are high expectations to ensure that our students are successful in career, college and life."  


"...across the state, other schools and districts have made tremendous strides in preparing our students for success in life.  

"For example, Osborn Elementary, a public school district in central Phoenix, has made dramatic academic gains since implementing the standards over the past four years. More than 90 percent of the district's students come from low-income backgrounds, yet every school in the district now has an A or a B grade and last year the district saw its middle-schoolers make two grade levels of progress in math and reading in less than one year. And it is not the only district that has seen strong results.  

"These standards do not represent a one-size-fits-all approach to education. In fact, the standards ensure that all students master the skills needed for success and develop the ability to solve problems and to think critically. Teachers have continually shared that the standards essentially give them more choices and flexibility in the classroom."  

Upgrading to fairer, more accurate assessments

By Jandel Allen-Davis and David Beal, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (subscription required) 

November 9, 2014  

"...parents and educators need accurate feedback about the critical knowledge and skills Colorado's students are acquiring throughout their education. Now more than ever, we need to know that our students are prepared for college and career.  "Unfortunately, we're not sure at the moment. By 2020 in Colorado, 74 percent of all jobs will require some post-secondary education. Right now, only 22 percent of Colorado's students will complete a two or four-year degree program. Simply put, if we stay on this track, Colorado's kids will not be ready for Colorado's jobs."  


"Higher standards are more important than ever as our industries become more sophisticated. With the advent of health-care reform, providers and insurance companies are adding more jobs that require data management, critical thinking and analytical abilities. We need to know that our students are acquiring these complex skills. The Colorado Academic Standards and their aligned assessments, which include the PARCC tests in English and math, accomplish exactly that. They are based on the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in today's global economy. It's a tremendous step in the right direction and, importantly, is paired with an accurate measure of progress."  


"Without accurate assessments, the Colorado Academic Standards are just goals on paper. Business leaders understand that measuring results is the only way to attain real success. These higher expectations mean that our students will be brighter, more talented, smarter and more engaged than ever before - an outcome that also helps us resolve the country's health problem." 

PARCC assessment a step forward

By Jeffrey Cipriani, Commonwealth Magazine

November 17, 2014  

"Flip-flopping on PARCC would be a step backward. The exam is designed to be more challenging than MCAS for good reason. It incorporates questions based on technology, includes higher expectations in writing, and requires more open-ended test items, because competence with tasks like these is crucial for success in college and career. Replacing the test or the standards would also negate the work my school has been doing. My experience teaching Common Core leads me to believe that the standards will prepare students for success in life and on a test like PARCC."  

And,  "The new assessment will also press students to respond to texts in writing. To do so, students will read two texts on the same topic, and then compose an essay in which they lay out their thinking on the subject matter using information from the texts. This task is much more challenging than previous MCAS test prompts required, because MCAS did not require students to compare texts. With preparation, even our youngest learners are ready for this.  

"Halfway through a reading unit dedicated to animal research, a righteous seven-year-old in my class approached me asking who the senators of Massachusetts are. I answered and asked why she wanted to know. She explained she had read a book about otters and a book about oil spills and wanted to encourage Elizabeth Warren to do more to protect oceans by writing a persuasive letter.  "She wrote the letter unassisted.  "Not only is this the kind of writing that PARCC values, it is the kind of writing that has real-world value." 

Common Core Resources

Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards. Visit Share News If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at