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Conservative Think Tank Mackinac Center Endorses Higher Standards


• Kristin Lock

On the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress – known as the Nation’s Report Card – only 35 percent of American eighth graders performed at grade level or above in math, while just 34 percent of students in both fourth and eighth grades scored at grade level or above in English.
The status quo in education is unacceptable, and raising academic standards across the nation is a key component in the movement to advance bold reform that will produce real results.
As states tackle this challenge, here is the latest on the education reform front, including encouraging news that the most influential conservative think tank in Michigan, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, has endorsed higher standards for Wolverine State students.
What They Are Really Saying About Common Core State Standards:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy Endorses Higher StandardsGongwer News Service in Michigan reported that, “The Mackinac Center also this week joined groups arguing the Common Core State Standards would be an improvement over current state standards.” (Staff, ” Mackinac Center: Accountability, Vouchers Helped Florida Schools Out Improve Michigan,” Gongwer News Service, 6/7/13)
Tulsa World Editorial Board Backs Governor Mike Huckabee’s Call to Support Common Core Standards“Now comes former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose conservative credentials are impeccable, in defense of Common Core, which he said has been ‘near and dear to my heart’ since his days as governor. In a letter to Oklahoma legislators, Huckabee said he was disturbed by ‘criticisms of these standards directed by other conservatives,’ and added that the criticisms are ‘short-sighted.’ Huckabee said he has heard the claims that the standards threaten local control of what’s being taught in classrooms. ‘Speaking from one conservative to another, let me assure you this simply is not true.’ Amen.” (Editorial Board, “Huckabee’s Message,” Tulsa World, 6/8/13)
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education: “Georgia is predicted to add 1.5 million new jobs by 2020. Of these new jobs, nearly 60 percent will require some sort of education beyond high school. Currently, only about 42 percent of Georgia’s adult population meets that requirement. The skill level of Georgia’s workforce does not currently meet the growing needs of a successful economic development plan. A strong educational system is a necessary component to support the state’s economic vision, and strong standards are the cornerstone of that system.” (Dana Rickman, “Adopting Common Core Standards makes business sense for Georgia,” Saporta Report, 6/9/13)
Common Core Fact of the Day: Raising Academic Standards Makes $ense:
Low academic standards have costs: A recent study by the Alliance for Excellent Education shows “the need for remedial education results in significant costs to both the unprepared students themselves and the nation as a whole. An analysis of college students enrolled during the 2007–08 school year estimates that remediation needs throughout their time in college cost the nation an estimated $5.6 billion. This figure includes $3.6 billion in direct remedial education costs for students who did not have the skills to succeed in postsecondary course work. It also includes an additional $2 billion in lost lifetime wages, since students who take remedial courses are more likely to drop out of college without a degree.”
Improving the quality of education delivered in American classrooms through higher standards holds the potential to lessen the next generation’s reliance on our ever-expanding entitlement and corrections programs. Higher standards will prepare our future workforce for the global economy, strengthening our nation’s competitiveness. They will also save taxpayer money. In addition to reducing the need for costly remediation in college, Common Core State Standards will lead to more competition and innovation in the education marketplace, driving down costs for states and districts.
Want to learn more about Common Core State Standards? Visit the Foundation for Excellence in Education. But, don’t just take our word for it. Take a moment to read the actual standards at www.corestandards.org.

About the author


Kristin Lock

kristin@excelined.org