U.S. Chamber of Commerce News

U.S. Chamber and the Business Council of New York State, Inc. Host Education Forum,
Issue Call to Action for Business Community
The “Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity” Tour Stops in Albany to Rally
Thought Leaders in Education and Business, Address Local Education Issues

ALBANY, NYBreaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity, a cross-country tour focused on education reform in local communities, stopped in Albany today. In a forum hosted by the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Chamber Foundation (NCF), and the Business Council of New York State, Inc., business, community, and education leaders gathered to address statewide challenges and discuss strategies to advance effective education reform in New York school districts. The discussion highlighted key education issues in New York, including the skills gap, which has left many STEM jobs unfilled, and the importance of partnerships between education and the private sector, particularly in economically disadvantaged regions of the state.

“Today, too few students are completing their K–12 education, and increasingly, students are graduating high school without attaining the skills needed to succeed in college or the workforce,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of ICW. “Local school districts play a critical role in ensuring that students are adequately prepared to enter the workforce, and the business community must do everything in our power to ensure that these systems are supported.”

Although New York has raised charter school enrollment caps and implemented a strong teacher evaluation system as a part of its Race to the Top plan, state assessments show that there is still a significant achievement gap between low-income and non-economically disadvantaged students. According to the New York State Education Department, only 64% of low-income students graduate from high school within four years, and only 34% of all students graduate college and are career-ready. This rate is particularly problematic given that 67% of jobs in New York will require a career certificate or degree by 2020 according to Complete College America. Though the state is on track to implement college and career-ready standards and assessments, there is a need for business and community leaders to join education reform efforts.

“The recent progress in New York's educational system has laid a strong foundation for greater strides,” said Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State. “Now is the time to work together to successfully implement evidence-based initiatives that will prepare all students to graduate high school with the skills they need to succeed in college and the workplace.”

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity is supported by a grant from the Daniels Fund, a Colorado-based foundation established by Bill Daniels, a cable television pioneer known for his generous support of innovative causes. It will also stop in San Diego, CA and Orlando, FL with more locations to be announced.

To learn more, visit: www.breakthemonopoly.com

Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #breakthemonopoly

The Daniels Fund provides college scholarships to deserving students, and grants to outstanding nonprofit organizations. Visit www.DanielsFund.org  for more information.

The Business Council of New York State, Inc., is the leading business organization in New York State, representing the interests of large and small firms throughout the state. Its membership is made up of thousands of member companies, as well as local chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations. Though 72 percent of our members are small businesses, we also represent some of the largest and most important corporations in the world. All told, our members employ more than 1.2 million New Yorkers. The primary function of the organization is to serve as an advocate for employers in the state political and policy-making arena, working for a healthier business climate, economic growth, and jobs.

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promoting the rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems needed to preserve the strength of America's greatest economic resource, its workforce.

The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. We provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow's challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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