A philosopher wrote, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
We believe education opportunity is what matters most because it is the key to the future success of our children, our economy, and our quality of life in Louisiana.
Over the last 15 years, Louisiana has made great strides in educational improvements. These improvements are a testament to our policy makers. The progress we have made collectively as a state reflects not only their commitment to continuous advancements in meeting educational standards, but also highlights Louisiana’s dedicated teachers and education leaders who have worked to ensure no child is left behind.
Accountability has helped motivate teachers and children to do their best. Greater autonomy for school districts and individual school principals allows decision making by the people closest to the children. A dedication to greater expectations for our children has made Louisiana a leader in the development of Common Core standards. These standards provide an outline of the skills and knowledge students need at each grade level to meet the goal of future success in college and the workforce.
Because the standards are more challenging, the assessments will be too. The possibility of lower test scores is causing some to push for a delay in the standards implementation or overturn the previous standards. The work world is a more demanding place today that ever before. Not only do students have to compete with others in the community to get into college and secure a job, they must also compete with students across the country and around the world. We must stay the course of building curriculum around standards built on a foundation of better preparation of our children for their future.
The Greater Shreveport and Bossier Chambers of Commerce and Alliance for Education write to express support of the continued implementation of Common Core Standards and accompanying assessments in our state. These standards raise the expectations for our children with a focus on improving reading comprehension, writing, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. There are fewer and clearer standards than what we currently have — allowing teachers more time to create innovative lessons that engage students – rather than rapidly and superficially speeding through the material to cover a large array of unconnected standards.
The Common Core standards matter. It matters to Louisiana that we create greater education and job opportunities for our people. It matters to parents to have the peace of mind that high school graduation means their child is ready for college or the workforce. It matters to teachers to have fewer, clearer and more relevant standards that allow for more creativity in the classroom. And it matters to our children that we have standards which produce greater engagement in their learning experiences, ultimately allowing for infinite possibilities for their future.
The students are not just a focus on high risk and gifted students. They are a concentration on more rigorous and relevant expectations for all children in Louisiana schools. Like every generation before, today’s parents and community leaders dedicate much of their time to making the world a better place for their children. Part of this is by providing greater education opportunity for the next generation. The new Louisiana education standards help provide that opportunity. We must stay the course.
The above article was submitted on behalf of theThe Greater Shreveport and Bossier Chambers of Commerce and Alliance for Education