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The Importance of the Common Core

The Importance of the Common Core

Philip Bredesen, chairman of AGB’s National Commission on College and University Board Governance and former governor of Tennessee

Jim Geringer, former chairman of AGB Board of Directors, former governor of Wyoming, chairman of the Board of Western Governor’s University, and chairman of the Board of Complete College America

Earlier this month, AGB along with Philip Bredesen and Jim Geringer sent a letter to AGB members encouraging them to formally support college readiness programs in their states, including the Common Core—a set of clear college- and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit-bearing introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or are ready to enter the workforce.

Recently, the debate about the Common Core and other college readiness programs has mired in the misperception that the Common Core is a federal mandate. To the contrary, the call for more rigorous standards was initiated by leaders in their respective states. Lately, both the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards have become a political campaign issue. While there are fair concerns about implementation and oversight, the benefits—to students, states, and the nation—are tremendous and far-reaching. Our country stands to lose if those who originally endorsed rigorous standards take a step back.

AGB's request is that members consider the purpose and values of rigorous standards, including the Common Core, and inform state leaders—governor, chief state school officer, and key leaders in the legislature and business community—of the essential value of a state commitment to high expectations and college readiness.

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