The United States, long considered a superpower, is losing that strength in a vital area of today’s global economy: human capital. Our teens are falling behind those in other countries in math, reading and other critical skills needed to compete, but more importantly to lead.
The only way to keep up or gain momentum is to have a common core of educational benchmarks that are universal, standardized and measurable. We must play on the same field as the rest of the world – and play as well, or better.
Much attention has been focused recently on student walkouts and parent protests of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC test. While this has created a great deal of controversy, questions and complaints, we should not lose focus of the bigger purpose behind the testing – to achieve educational excellence through tougher expectations that make our students more competitive and successful.
The Common Core State Standards initiative raises the bar to ensure that American students have the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in our universities and to be competitive in our workplaces and our world. It establishes a consistent set of standards for students’ expected achievement in reading, writing, speaking, listening, language and math from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
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