Guest commentary: Keep world-class standards for Michigan learners

By Doug Rothwell/Business Leaders for Michigan

This year, Michigan public schools began using the kind of high-quality content standards that our kids need to be competitive in the 21st century. Used by 45 states, the Common Core State Standards specify what students should be able to know and do at every grade level in reading and math, so they can be ready to advance when they graduate no matter whether they enter the workforce or continue their education.

MORE COVERAGE: Consensus on Common Core school standards evaporating 

We all want our children to succeed and for our state to flourish. The fact is that good paying jobs are increasingly requiring more education and the jobs will go where educated workers can be found. Michigan needs the Common Core. The standards have been carefully researched and developed to ensure their rigor and relevance in a 21st-century knowledge economy. After decades of shrinking incomes and population, Michigan is starting to rebound. To make our recovery permanent, we need to make sure our children have the knowledge and skills employers need.

With the Common Core in place, teachers and schools have a reliable yardstick for determining whether students are on track to keep pace with their peers across the globe. Michigan still gets to decide the curricula that should be taught and teachers get to decide how to teach.

The Common Core is essential to make sure every graduate in Michigan has been well-prepared for the world of tomorrow. Business Leaders for Michigan joins with education leaders, research and advocacy groups like the Business Round Table, Detroit Regional Chamber, Education Trust-Midwest, and many others to support full and continuing implementation of the Common Core.

Our goal is to make Michigan a “Top Ten” state for job, economic and personal income growth. Whether it’s in traditional Michigan industry sectors like manufacturing and agriculture or growing ones like health care and technology, Michigan’s ability to grow economically will be driven by increases in productivity tied to talent and innovation – and our education system is a primary incubator of both.

The Common Core State Standards will ensure that all Michigan kids have the academic knowledge and skills to succeed after high school and help create a bright economic future for Michigan.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission.

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Tue, 05/21/2013 - 12:45pm
The Common Core Standards is run by the Federal Department of Education and the Democratic Party. Are you trying to tell me that Common Core is politically neutral? The Democrats have been in charge of public education for the last 40 years. American public schools should have been delivering the world's best education for 40 years. Why should I trust Common Core Standards to be any different?
Chuck Jordan
Sun, 05/26/2013 - 11:18am
Funny. Where did No Child Left Behind come from? I have been wondering for a long time what happened to the anti- federal control of education when Bush first proposed NCLB. Is it because a Republican president pushed it? Politicians need to get out of education, period. It is not the Core Standards that are bad; it is the testing that goes with it.
Roger L. Harris
Tue, 05/21/2013 - 12:53pm
It is not the increased level of academic requirements that I and others disagree with. It is giving up control of our childrens schools and curriculum and allowing the Federal Government and an unelected group of individuals to determine what our children are taught. Our childrens education is the responsibilty of parents and local schools. Make all the recommendations that you want, just leave the decisions up to the parents. The more centralized education becomes the more bureaucratic and politically biased it will be.
Chuck Fellows
Tue, 05/21/2013 - 5:35pm
If, and this is a big if, the Common Core is used as it is (being advertised as intended) intended to be used (as a guide not a mandate) it can be of great benefit to teachers in developing the curriculum and pedagogy for individual classroom use. View the Common Core as a language and if we all speak the same language communication can occur and incremental continual improvement has an opportunity to begin. Every child enters this world with the innate ability to learn supported by their diversity, curiosity and creativity. If permitted teachers can be coaches, guides and mentors for the beginning of a life long journey of learning. The child must set the pace and the path for the journey, not the adults, local state or national. In business terms the product of education is not education, not preparation for a career or a job. The product of education is an individual whose desire to learn grows each day. The individual will take care of the job or career preparation on their own. Adults need not meddle based upon their dated experience and hardening of the opinion.