Before implementing the North Carolina Common Core State Standards, our state was not getting the job done. According to a report released by America’s Edge, a national business leader organization, only 17 percent of the entire 2013 North Carolina high school graduating class who took the ACT met college readiness benchmarks in core subject areas, including math and reading.
Our old standards missed the mark as 63 percent of eighth-graders are below grade level in math, and 66 percent of fourth-graders are below grade level in reading.
After considerable investment in common core, there is now an effort in our legislature to do away with this initiative, a change of course that will derail our efforts to ensure every student is developing the skills and knowledge needed to compete in our 21st century economy.
Our State Board of Education analyzed the standards, and after receiving public input in 2010, concluded that the new standards would better prepare our students. Given these facts, why stop implementation and slow the improvement we so desperately need?
Simply put, business needs graduates with the core academic knowledge and deeper learning skills – communication, collaboration and critical thinking – for North Carolina to continue to compete in the global economy.
Harvey A. Schmitt
President and CEO, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce