Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It’s time.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation this morning released a video titled, “It’s Time for the Common Core State Standards.” The video demonstrates broad support for the Standards spanning political parties, states, districts and generations. From former Governors and state Superintendents to teachers, military families and business leaders, it’s clear that those with an interest in ensuring our children are ready for the jobs of tomorrow think that these Standards, known in Arizona as the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, are an important step forward. Adopted in Arizona in 2010, these new standards are internationally benchmarked to college and career readiness, and received even higher ratings from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute than Arizona’s 1999 standards.

As Governor Brewer notes in the clip, “Everyone knows that global competition for jobs has changed. Our schools must keep pace.” Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida- a state Arizona and others look to as inspiration for successful education reform- states, “if we aspire to greatness as a nation, we have to have standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world.”

Also featured in the video are University of Arizona mathematics Professor Dr. William McCallum and former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Lisa Graham Keegan.  (I also make a brief appearance.)

Dr. McCallum was the lead author of the Common Core math standards, and notes that these Standards are, “the best chance that we have to improve mathematics in this country that has come along in my lifetime.” Former Michigan Governor and President of the Business Roundtable John Engler agrees, calling these standards “the single most effective education advance we have seen in a generation.”

Ms. Keegan says, “This is the way our students reach their potential. And for American children, it’s how our country remains the strongest country in the world and the greatest country ever imagined.”

Please take a few minutes to watch the video here. These standards aren’t a silver bullet, we must continue to work to improve choice, accountability and quality in our K-12 system, but the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards are an important part this improvement. It’s time to ensure Arizona’s children have Standards that will ensure they are ready for college and career.

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