I, like many of you, am a grandparent! And my 3-year-old granddaughter, my one and only grandchild, is the apple of my eye! She has a natural curiosity and it’s a sheer delight to watch her grow and learn. As you might expect, I think she deserves and should have the very best of everything!
One of the things that I think she needs and deserves the most is a good education. I want her well-prepared for life and whatever career she chooses. But, I know that without a set of clearly defined high standards to outline what she must know and learn, this will never happen.
Despite the unrest and controversy around the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), both higher education and retired military leaders are encouraging policy makers not to derail the standards. They say we must have higher standards to adequately prepare students for the 65% of jobs available by 2020 that will require at least some post-secondary education whether it be career-training, an associate, or a bachelor’s degree.
With over 50% of students entering two-year colleges and 20% of students enrolling in four-year institutions diverted into remedial math classes, remediation has become known as higher education’s “Bridge to Nowhere” . This bridge is traveled by about 1.7 million students each year and costs more than $3 billion dollars annually. Ultimately, only about 17% of these students reach their goal of graduating and they and/or their families are left in debt with little to show for it. Therefore, higher educators say we need higher standards to meet the needs of future employers, sustain our economy, and increase college completion.
In a report released by the retired North Carolina military leaders’ group Mission Readiness, one-fifth of North Carolinians do not graduate from high school on time and 23% of those taking the military’s entrance exam for math, literacy, and problem solving cannot join because of low scores. This group cites that uneven standards across states hurt children in military families who move frequently and argue that a weak educational system can threaten national security.
Both groups agree that the CCSS is the best hope for driving meaningful improvement across K – 12 and beyond. If we want students to enter college or career training without the need for remediation, to earn a degree, or to serve in the military, then higher standards should be a priority across our nation. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less and the future of our country and economy depend on it!
Want to learn more about the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and how teachers can best implement it?
Download our free Field Guide to CCSSM Implementation.