Military & Business Leaders Support Pennsylvania Common Core Standards to Ensure Future National and Economic Security
New Report Shows Common Standards and Aligned Assessments Are Key to Education Reform and a Strong Military
HARRISBURG, PA (May 14, 2013) Pennsylvania’s Common Core Standards will help ensure that students are better prepared for success in postsecondary education, the workforce and the military, if they choose to serve, said military and business leaders from Pennsylvania today. They released a new report from the nonpartisan national security organization MISSION: READINESS at the State Capitol that shows that one in five high school graduates in Pennsylvania who tries to join the military cannot score highly enough on the military’s exam for math, literacy and problem solving to qualify for service.
Speakers at the news conference included Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General Major General Wesley Craig (US Army) and other Administration officials; Rear Admiral Thomas Wilson, III (US Navy, Ret.); decorated veteran State Representative Ryan Aument; and David Patti, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Business Council along with several members of the Council.
“I am deeply proud of all those who have served our state and country and of the 19,000 current members of the Pennsylvania National Guard. But I am alarmed about the reduced number of young men and women who can meet all of the qualifications required to serve in our Armed Forces,” said General Craig. “Too many high school graduates do not have the skills the military needs. Pennsylvania’s Common Core Standards will help ensure that students are receiving a high-quality education consistently, from school to school and state to state.”
The report, entitled All Children Prepared for Success: Common Standards and Aligned Assessments are Key to Education Reform and a Strong Military, makes the case that Pennsylvania’s Common Core Standards make English language arts and math education more rigorous and relevant, and they also challenge students on critical thinking, complex problem solving and effective communication—all essential skills for today’s and tomorrow’s military.
According to the report, there has been a lot of confusion about student achievement levels because each state had its own standards and tests that yielded achievement data that was not comparable with other states. For example, in Pennsylvania, there was a dramatic difference in reporting proficiency levels for 4th grade reading depending upon the assessments utilized. When the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment was used, only 37 percent of students scored proficient or higher, versus 72 percent scoring proficient or higher on the state PSSA exams.