During much of the 20th century, Americans entering the workforce were considered the best educated in the world. Within the past 30 years, foreign countries have claimed a higher percentage of their entering workforce with the equivalent of a high school diploma. The U.S. continues to be surpassed. More than 60 percent of employers are not satisfied with recent high school graduates’ ability to read and understand written instructions and materials. Our current education system needs to change. Our high schools should be able to produce graduates who can meet businesses’ expectations without remediation.
The Common Core State Standards, because they are anchored in college- and career-ready expectations, will ensure students graduate from high school ready to enter college and the workforce. The new standards are designed with particular emphasis on critical thinking, research skills and applying knowledge to real-world situation.
Business and community leaders must support Common Core Standards to help cultivate improved educational outcomes. Implementing these standards offers an opportunity to provide a common education foundation across the country that will prepare students for college, careers and life. When American students have the skills and knowledge needed in today’s jobs, communities will be positioned to compete successfully in the global economy. Common Core is benchmarked to international standards to guarantee our students are ready to compete in the emerging marketplace following high school graduation.