NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
With my background as an economist and active member of the OKCEOs, I am an education advocate because quality education is a driving force of economic growth.
To elevate the quality of our K-12 system, Oklahoma must continue its commitment to full implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
With Oklahoma eighth-graders ranking 39th in reading and 45th in math nationally, the need for an adjustment in standards and approach is clear.
When Oklahoma adopted Common Core in 2010, Norman Public Schools dedicated resources and quickly began the transition. By the 2014-15 school year, NPS will have these higher standards fully implemented.
As home of the University of Oklahoma, our community is especially concerned with ways to best prepare students for college.
In 2012, only 23 percent of ACT-tested Oklahoma high school graduates met the college-readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science.
Common Core improves college readiness not only by increasing rigor in the classroom but also by equipping students with critical thinking skills they need to be successful in their collegiate coursework.
The state legislature is currently considering legislation to repeal the Common Core State Standards. School districts in Oklahoma have already devoted substantial resources to the implementation of Common Core. Creating and implementing an entire new set of standards will require additional resources, when education funding is already scarce.
If repeal is successful, this would be disadvantageous to our students in a myriad of ways.
First, future ACT exams will be aligned with Common Core, so if the repeal passes, our students will not be as well prepared for the ACT as their peers who are educated under CCSS.
Additionally, without Common Core, our standards will be not be comparable to other states and their national competitiveness will not be as easily determined. Accountability and transparency are absolutely critical if we are going to compete in a global market place.