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HIRE Standards are Transforming How NC Students Learn and Apply Math

HIRE Standars = High Results

In order for North Carolina and its future workforce to remain competitive in the modern economy, high academic standards in the state’s public schools are essential. Preparing students for the jobs of the future begins with teachers who understand the need for their students to achieve higher academic standards and successfully guide them to do just that.

After 21 years in the classroom, no one knows this better than Johnston County Early College Academy’s Bill Worley. Since the start of his career, he’s been on the front lines as education standards have transformed the classroom and how his students learn and apply mathematics.

“The focus of both the Common Core standards and the newly revised mathematics standards emphasize the need for our students to understand and conceptualize the content in our courses,” said Worley. “Students are learning that there are multiple ways to address problems, and multiple ways to communicate their understandings. All of these things have broadened the appeal of mathematics and the sciences in my students, convincing many who thought they could never work in a STEM field that it might actually be possible for them.”

As we look to the future, it’s critical for the business community to continue advocating for higher standards and find ways to help our state’s educators connect today’s standards with needs of tomorrow’s jobs. Ensuring our students are prepared to compete in the global marketplace is integral in developing the talent needed to keep pace with innovation across industries. That work begins in the classroom with teachers who recognize high academic standards are vital to students’ educational success and professional achievement.

“While I’d love to have an old Model-T Ford, thank goodness I am not reliant on that type of vehicle to transport me to my new grandchild 750 miles away. Similarly, I’m grateful that I now carry in my pocket a phone that allows me to get help pretty much no matter where I am in the world,” Worley said. “The world changes. It is incredibly foolish for us to think that the only effective way to teach our children mathematics is the way we happen to have learned mathematics. The jobs our students will be doing one day, in many cases have not even been created yet. And our students are no longer competing against their local classmates for those jobs – they are competing against students across the globe.”

The NC Chamber remains committed to fighting for high academic standards in our public schools. These standards are not only driving greater academic achievement from our students but they are also better preparing them for career and college readiness – a necessity as we work to cultivate a world-class workforce. As described by Worley, “the current academic standards for North Carolina high school mathematics have allowed educators to continue to press our students towards deeper conceptual understanding, ultimately resulting not only in students who perform better as mathematicians, but in students who gain an understanding of the relevance and pervasiveness of mathematics in the world around them.”

We look forward to highlighting more dedicated educators, like Bill Worley, who understand the value of teaching higher education standards.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber