Responding to U.S. Education Sec. Arne Duncan’s Remarks on Higher Standards

In a press release sent yesterday, the NC Chamber responded to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s comments on Common Core State Standards and emphasized the importance of North Carolina’s adoption of high standards for career and college readiness of our students, and stressed the business community’s commitment to these higher standards. Earlier this week, Sec. Duncan commented that he found it “fascinating” that some Common Core opponents are “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary.” In North Carolina, teachers, parents and business leaders agree that in order to raise achievement, we must have high standards, support our educators and students to reach those goals and meaningfully measure our progress. Unfortunately, Sec. Duncan’s recent remarks about the Common Core State Standards were counterproductive to the hard work of our state’s educators in implementing these higher standards for our students.

It is important to remember, the Common Core State Standards are a state-led effort with local implementation. This has always been, and continues to be, a state-led and state-driven initiative. We are raising the bar for all children, and we know that is a difficult transition for everyone. However, Secretary Duncan’s remarks make it even more difficult to reform our education system in order to prepare our students for real, local jobs.

The North Carolina Chamber Foundation is leading a broad-based coalition of more than 50 private and public organizations to ensure sound implementation of these standards. North Carolina continues to raise the bar for higher levels of learning to better prepare students to succeed, whether they go on to post-secondary education or enter the workforce after graduating from high school.

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