Higher Ed Leaders in New York, Maryland, Tennessee Join in Support of the Common Core

June 5, 2014

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan, and Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan today published an op-ed in the Huffington Post in support of the Common Core Education Standards.

“The Common Core standards, and new assessments aligned to the standards, represent our best hope for driving meaningful improvement across K-12 and higher education,” they write. “Higher education leaders have a lot at stake in this debate, and it’s time for us to make our voices heard. Higher education leaders from red, blue, and purple states are unified in our support of the Common Core. Instead of slowing down or scrapping the Common Core, we say let's get on with it.”

Citing the unpreparedness of incoming college freshman and an estimated $7 billion spent on remediation in college annually, the leaders hope to elevate and amplify the views of colleges and universities on this important issue.

Nationwide, 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges and 20 percent entering four-year institutions enroll in at least one remedial course, and of those, only 17 percent persist to earn a degree or certificate.

“The Common Core will have a significant and lasting impact on student comprehension and achievement while re-positioning each state – and ultimately, our nation – as a global leader in education,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The Common Core fittingly raises the bar for educators and for students, and in today’s competitive and increasingly global economy, anything less would be a disservice to our youth. It is critical that we come together on the effective implementation of the Common Core, so that the nation’s students are not left behind.”

“The implementation of the Common Core standards nationwide may be our last best chance to align high school completion requirements and college entrance expectations,” said Chancellor Kirwan. “With rigorous standards, effective assessment, and collaboration across the education spectrum, implementation will improve the performance of our K-12 schools and increase students’ success in college. Moreover, as a society, we have a moral obligation to do whatever we can to ensure that our students are fully prepared for the rigors of college-level work and ultimately, the demands of the workforce.”

“All students deserve a quality education,” said Chancellor Morgan. “Preparing students who have graduated from high school for college-level work requires funding and resources – money students shouldn’t have to pay, and an investment taxpayers shouldn’t have to make. We have long believed the Common Core standards will help all students be ready for college-level work or workforce training with basic skills when they graduate. Having consistent standards by which to gauge college readiness is essential for our states individually and our nation as a whole.”

The Huffington Post op-ed is available online.

About the Common Core Standards
Forty-four states have adopted the Common Core Standards to provide students with the skills they need for success in college and career. The Common Core Standards guide states in their efforts to strengthen curricula, evaluate proficiency earlier, and address areas of concern before students fall too far behind.

The standards are national, but allow for the addition of up to 15 percent more standards in each subject area to accommodate each state’s priorities and preferences. The Common Core sets expectations for what students need to know at each grade level, but does not prescribe how that information is conveyed. Local stakeholders remain responsible for developing curricula.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit suny.edu.

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