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College and Career Readiness Is Top Priority for CEOs

Business Roundtable today released its principles for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization and called on Congress and the President to create a bipartisan bill to update and improve K-12 education programs to ensure all high school graduates can succeed in college and careers.

“We believe that if you set expectations high, measure progress and use reliable data to make adjustments, you can create a K-12 education system that leads to better results,” said Business Roundtable President John Engler. “Our priority is to ensure all students graduate from high school ready for the next step, and the principles we have outlined for ESEA reauthorization support that goal.”

The House Education and the Workforce Committee is marking up its version of ESEA reauthorization, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), tomorrow. Business Roundtable and other groups commented on H.R. 5 in a letter sent to Committee leadership.

The Business Roundtable principles for ESEA reauthorization include:

·       Set Clear Expectations: States must take the lead in setting clear expectations for what students in each grade need to know to graduate from high school ready for a career and college, without the need for remediation.

·       Define Goals for Success: States must establish rigorous, realistic, annual goals to ensure all students – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, first language, disability or community in which they live – are meeting the state-established challenging academic standards and graduate from high school.

·       Measure Progress: States must understand where they are today regarding the performance of all students and measure progress toward meeting their education goals with statewide assessments that should be conducted, at a minimum, annually in grades three through eight and at least once in high school for math and reading, as well as once per grade span (elementary school, middle school and high school) in science.

·       Ensure Reliable Data Are Available for Parents, Teachers and State and Local Policymakers: The federal government has a role in ensuring that states make their data widely available through school, district and state report cards that clearly define progress toward meeting state-established goals. States must also build accountability systems that reward schools and districts that successfully meet their improvement targets. Finally, districts and states must take action in schools that consistently miss improvement targets for a particular group of students.

Click here to read the full set of principles. 

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