New York Business Leaders Support Moving Forward with Common Core

New York Business Leaders Support Moving Forward with Common Core

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY, August 8, 2013 – On the heels of the results released yesterday from the first tests in New York aligned with Common Core Learning Standards (Common Core), over 40 business leaders signed an open letter urging policymakers to continue implementing Common Core in the Empire State.

The diverse group of CEOs and executives, representing a range of companies from the Fortune 100 to entrepreneurial small businesses, recognizes Common Core’s importance to the wellbeing of New York’s students, a highly-educated workforce and New York’s long-term economic competitiveness.

“The need for college and career-readiness in Pre-K-12 education is urgent. A well-prepared workforce is an essential element of the vibrant business climate that The Business Council and my fellow New York business leaders are striving to create. That’s why we signed this letter urging policymakers to continue implementing Common Core without delay,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

Over the past three years, the New York State Education Department has been working with teachers and administrators to implement Common Core. The Common Core State Standards Initiative, led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, has generated K-12 standards in math and English designed to produce college- and career-ready students. Forty-five states and Washington DC have already, voluntarily, adopted these standards.

“The level of support for Common Core from the business community has been extraordinary,” said Elizabeth Ling, a director at Education Reform Now, who led outreach on the letter to business leaders and groups from across New York. “Businesses understand as well as anyone the critical importance of education to our success as a state and nation, and the signatories to this open letter believe Common Core will help to better prepare our students for college and tomorrow’s jobs. They should know, and we should all listen.”

Full text of the letter follows.

AN OPEN LETTER (August 8, 2013):

NEW YORK BUSINESS LEADERS SUPPORT MOVING FORWARD WITH COMMON CORE

As business leaders, we believe that all New York’s children have a right to an education that prepares them to be successful in a competitive global economy. We also understand that in order to compete in a knowledge-based economy, we must improve the academic performance of our students. Our state is once again at a critical place in our quest for educational excellence, and the need for a strong employer voice is greater than ever. New York’s business leaders can make a positive difference for schools, students and our state’s future if we join together and share our expectations for education and our support for the people and institutions that move education reform forward.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, has produced K-12 standards in the foundational subjects of math and English that meet the business community’s expectations: they are college- and career-ready, grounded in evidence and internationally benchmarked. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have already adopted these standards, which set consistent, focused, rigorous academic expectations for all students. Over the past three years, the New York State Education Department has been working with teachers and administrators to implement these standards in our state.

As with any major transition, our path to raising student achievement will require much hard work on the part of various stakeholders. This has led some to say that New York should slow down its implementation of Common Core and related initiatives. As business executives, we understand how challenging it can be for organizations to operate in a changing environment. Yet the need to raise college- and career-readiness in K-12 education is urgent—which is why moving forward with Common Core is crucial.

We support continued implementation of these new, tougher academic standards that are currently being rolled out in classrooms across the state. These standards will better prepare students for college and the workplace, something of critical importance to New York’s employers. The changes now under way in our schools hold great promise for creating a more highly skilled workforce that is better equipped to meet the needs of our local, state and national economies.

For a full list of business leaders who signed this letter, please click here.

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