The Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 2015 (ESSA) presents a tremendous opportunity for states to retool their school accountability frameworks to be more flexible and to reflect a broader definition of what it means for a school to be successful for students and parents. It's also critical, however, that states hold a high bar for success that is predicated primarily on student outcomes. Business leaders should be at the front of the conversation, ensuring that state leaders strike the right balance. As future employers, business leaders know firsthand that schools must prepare graduates with the skills and knowledge to be successful in today’s workforce and the creativity and curiosity to imagine the industries of tomorrow.
Rod Gramer, head of Idaho Business for Education, said research shows that by 2020, 60 to 70 percent of the jobs in Idaho will require a post-secondary degree or certificate, and we’re not there. “The need for our employers is real – we need an educated workforce,” Gramer said. “Not achieving this goal has serious ramifications for our business community.”
While the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) preserves and protects some critical practices to improve student learning, it also has some persistent shortcomings. “Most states still have weak curriculums and graduation requirements that make high school diplomas useless and that leave graduates unprepared for college, the job market or even meeting entry requirements for the Army,” writes the NYT Editorial Board.
America Succeeds is excited to announce the addition of two new team members. Eric Lerum, formerly Vice President of National Policy at StudentsFirst, is joining our team as Vice President of Growth & Strategy. Also, Lauren Cole is a recent graduate of Cornell University and will serve as Project Director to support the home office and all affiliates.
A new report by The Thomas B. Fordham Institute reveals that “more than twelve million American students exercise some form of school choice by going to a charter, magnet, or private school—or opting for homeschooling—instead of attending a traditional public school,” and makes clear that “some cities are significantly more ‘choice-friendly’ than others…and some are downright hostile.” Cities were evaluated based on: political support, policy environment, and quality & quantity of choices. We are glad to see three of our affiliate states represented in this top 30 list—Colorado, North Carolina, and Indiana.
In Colorado, the first round of Common Core-aligned test scores are in, and Colorado Succeeds has some important perspective to offer. Having implemented higher standards for students at every grade level, it is not at all surprising that scores were underwhelming on the new and more rigorous test. The good news is that we are now aware of, and honestly reporting, true proficiency levels, which are troubling, and which were masked by the score inflation of the previous state test. In this blog post and video, Colorado Succeeds explains why the new tests are critical to providing students what they need and deserve from our schools.
From the Desk of Tim Taylor:
This is a worthy read—a rant and lots of colorful comments on one of the blogs I follow. It addresses a question I have not been able to answer - until now. If Common Core is really just about standards, not curriculum, why are so many parents lamenting about the way their kids are learning math? The example here focuses on the “base-ten system” and, like any standard, there are multiple ways to teach it. But because it is a new standard, any curriculum will likely be new to parents. This is the story of a nonsensical argument against the Common Core, and the effective and entertaining response it inspired. As you’ll see, it’s not the way kids learned math decades ago, but turns out the base-ten system actually makes a whole lot of sense.
The Evolving Link Between Learning and Earning:
Connecting postsecondary and workforce data is critical to preparing students for careers that will earn them a living wage.
How well is our nation’s education system aligned to the realities of the 21st century workforce and globally competitive economy? Well, just ask any parents whose kid has had to move home to live in their basement after graduating college in the last several years.
There’s a popular phrase that makes a powerful point: learning is earning. It’s true. The more education you have, the more likely you are to become and remain gainfully employed, and thus climb higher up the economic ladder.
America Succeeds America Succeeds is a network of non-partisan, business-led, policy and advocacy organizations that offer an informed and credible “business voice for education” in each state. We believe great schools are good business.
To elevate and expand America’s business voice for
the dramatic and continuous improvement of public
Who We Are
America Succeeds is a network of non-partisan,
business-led, policy and advocacy organizations that
offer an informed and credible “business voice for
education” in each state. We believe great schools
are good business.
Business Voice for Education
America Succeeds is committed to developing a
network of affiliated, non-partisan, business-led,
policy and advocacy organizations that offer an
informed and credible “business voice for education”
in every state.
The business community has the opportunity, obligation, and capacity to
improve our system so that every student is prepared to succeed in a
competitive global economy. Click here to learn more
Our work is guided by five core business principles that we contend are also critical to optimizing the public education system: accountability, transparency, customer-focuses, choice and competition, and return on investment. Why BusinessCore Principles
America Succeeds exists to protect and advance the American Dream, which
is predicated upon all children having access to quality education. We
work with our state affiliates to accomplish this goal.
Click here to learn more
Colorado Succeeds was founded on the premise that the business
community has the obligation, opportunity and capacity to increase
the college and workforce readiness of all students through an
ambitious, aggressive and comprehensive reform agenda.
Idaho Business for Education is comprised of Idaho CEOs and company presidents, who share a
common goal — Better Education in Idaho. The members of IBE are
passionate about improving Idaho’s educational system in all
As the business voice for education, Nevada Succeeds demands
effective performance from our education system and is dedicated to
creating a climate for successful student achievement in Nevada.
BEST NC is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of business leaders
committed to improving North Carolina’s public education system
through policy and advocacy.
America Succeeds believes the most important changes
in education are occurring through policies adopted
at the state level. Affiliates produce and publish
reports that shine light on specific policies and
practices. They share innovative ideas and best
practices for systemic transformation. For more,