Creating the globally competitive workforce of tomorrow demands thoughtful action in our K-12 public schools today. For years, the NC Chamber has been actively involved in protecting and strengthening academic standards to ensure our students are developing the college- and career-ready skills they need to succeed in the modern workplace. Over the last few months, we’ve had another opportunity to build upon past successes.
In October, the State Board of Education proposed a new process for reviewing the academic standards for students in elementary, middle, and high schools. Unfortunately, the proposed process lacked necessary transparency and public participation. After reviewing the proposal, the NC Chamber shared a list of recommendations to make the review process better, then worked directly with Board staff on further revisions and improvements. In March, the Board approved an ongoing standards review and implementation process which we support.
We have learned from past experiences with math and reading standards that an open review process is crucial to achieving results and avoiding drawn-out political fights. Fortunately, the new process addresses those concerns. Now, when science, social studies, and other standards come up for review, the State Board of Education has a more transparent process, which will:
- Set clear goals
- Clearly divide the process into data gathering, public input and writing phases
- Identify stakeholder participation at all steps
- Allow for ongoing monitoring of implementation
The NC Chamber applauds Eric Davis and other members of the State Board of Education for taking these positive steps and ensuring the business community is heard on academic standards. This thoughtful work will make all the difference in developing the talent needed to secure North Carolina’s future.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs