600,000. That’s how many manufacturing jobs are currently vacant in the United States. Despite a still-recovering economy in one industry alone, there are hundreds of thousands of open, good-wage jobs employers want to fill, but can’t because of a dramatic shortage of qualified candidates.
While businesses across the country attempt to expand and grow, high-quality positions remain unfilled as they struggle to find applicants qualified for the demands of 21st century jobs. As states look to accelerate growth today, it’s time to take steps now to ensure the strength of our economy and workforce tomorrow.
One key to preparing our nation’s students for the rigors of college and real world careers are higher academic standards. For too long, we have lowered expectations for students and the result has been generations of students not reaching their full potential. That’s changing as states across the nation take action to raise standards in the critical areas of English and Math.
As support builds across the country for higher standards for students, please take a moment to read the latest on this movement.
What They Are Really Saying About Higher Standards:
Support for high standards builds in South Carolina
“In an increasingly global economy where students from South Carolina are just as likely to be competing for jobs or college admissions with students from India and Japan as they are with graduates from Georgia or Tennessee, it makes sense for South Carolina’s students have the same standards as students across the country, as long as those standards are sufficiently rigorous. That doesn’t make the standards an effort at federal control, and it doesn’t make them automatically worse than something that might be created in the state. The standards in math, reading and language arts outline what students should know, but generally leave it to the individual states to decide how to impart those skills. The standards were not drafted by the federal government and states are not required to adopt them, though the vast majority have.” (Editorial Board, “No need to backtrack on education standards,” GreevilleOnline, 6/19/13)
Washington Post Highlights Benefits of Higher Standards for Schools
“Lost in the hysteria being whipped up about Common Core standards is that the movement to infuse new rigor in schools started at the state level. Governors and state education officials, alarmed that U.S. students were being outpaced globally, banded together to develop clear and consistent standards. This sensible and badly needed reform should not be derailed by misguided and misinformed opposition.” (Editorial Board, “Common Core standards are a boon for schools,” The Washington Post, 6/19/13)
Private schools voluntarily look at adopting high standards
“Lynn Wade, principal of the Florida College Academy near Tampa, ‘I see more opportunities for children to … get stronger.’ Like many proponents of the Common Core, the former public school administrator sees an opportunity to elevate teaching and learning. ‘We always have to ask ourselves, ‘Is what I’m teaching in the best interest of students? Am I taking care of their needs?’’ he said.” (Sherri Ackerman, “Florida private schools still showing interest in Common Core,” redefinED, 6/20/13)