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For Release — March 28, 2014

Business Council statement on Common Core aligned student assessments

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State

ALBANY N.Y.—As New York approaches the second round of Common Core-aligned state assessments in math and English language, it is important that our state remain committed to helping our students reach a higher level of achievement.

Although it is expected that students' scores will be similar to last year, and lower than in previous years, it is important to acknowledge that the new standards are more rigorous and challenge students to understand concepts and delve deeper into the material, rather than depend on rote memorization of facts and figures.

Unfortunately, the new standards have been muddled with a host of important, yet peripheral issues, such as data privacy and teacher evaluations. In the process, the compelling message of “ensuring our students are better prepared for a post-high school world” has been drowned out by misinformation from fringe groups and special interests. This focus on high standards and improved educational outcomes continue to unite parents, educators and employers.

Back-tracking on standards would be unfair to students, particularly those who graduate each year unprepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The new standards help to prepare students to meet the business community's needs. Employers frequently cite the inability to find skilled workers to fill open positions, as well as the high rate of remediation for college students, as disconnect between what students have been learning in schools and what they need to know to find success in the workforce.

The Business Council of New York State continues to strongly support the implementation of the Common Core standards in New York.