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Florida, Louisiana Senate Education Chairmen: States Must Lead on Raising Standards

• ExcelinEd

Every year, U.S. high schools graduate students unprepared for college or jobs in the workforce. In a recent report, the College Board broke down some disturbing statistics:

For every 100 ninth graders, 70 will go on to graduate high school. Forty-four of these men and women will enter college, and just 30 will return for their sophomore year. Only 21 will earn a degree within six years.

Why are so many students who graduate with a high school diploma unable to conquer the challenges of college? In many cases, it is because the academic standards in our schools have been dumbed down for years, and the lowered expectations are unaligned with the real world demands of life after high school.

To address this important issue, states are taking measures to raise academic standards. This is not the only thing we must do to transform schools in America, but higher standards, combined with stronger accountability, will produce better results for students.

Take a moment to learn why Florida Senate Education Chairman John Legg (R – FL), Louisiana Senate Education Chairman Conrad Appel (R – LA) and many others are leading the movement to raise academic standards in states across the nation.

What They Are Really Saying About Higher Standards:

Florida Senate Education Chairman John Legg Says States Must Lead on Raising Standards: “The Common Core State Standards are built upon strengths of current state standards but are internationally benchmarked, preparing all students to succeed in our global economy and society. Our framers, in their brilliance, allowed for this independence and collaboration through the 10th Amendment, which has produced results that are unparalleled. America’s prosperity is heavily dependent upon states learning from one another other and challenging each other to improve through competition, comparison and collaboration.” (Senator John Legg, “Common Core will better prepare Florida’s students,” Tampa Tribune, 6/14/13)

Louisiana Senate Education Chairman Conrad Appel Takes on Myths about Higher Standards:  “The Common Core is simply a set of standards establishing what every student should and needs to know. Although the state adopted the Common Core standards, each public school system has the authority to design its own curriculum and select its own instructional materials to meet these standards. That is about as far as you can get from a federal, or even a state, mandated curriculum. It is imperative that we improve educational outcomes and opportunities for all children. Let’s support our local schools as they implement the Common Core standards that will help make this possible.” (Senator Conrad Appel, “Common Core Standards Help Students Compete,” The Times-Picayune, 6/14/13)

The Economist: “In rich countries, school systems with exams based on robust national standards (ie, similar to Common Core) perform 16 points better on the PISA test (an international benchmark) than school systems without them… This puts them half a school year ahead. The effect is larger than almost any other national variable.” (Staff, “Raising the Bar,” The Economist, 6/13/13)

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