Below you will find a letter to the Michigan Legislature from Business Leaders for Michigan indicating support of the Common Core State Standards. The standards are being discussed by both chambers as they review the 2014 budget for the Michigan Department of Education.
May 2, 2013
Dear Chairman Haveman and Chairman Kahn: I am writing to express our organization’s strong support for implementing the Common Core State Standards. The standards are not a curriculum – they only specify what students should know and be able to do in each grade and by the end of high school to be career and college ready. The data overwhelmingly demonstrates the need for and benefit of a quality education:
- Between now and 2018, 80% of the highest-paying, most in-demand jobs in Michigan will require an Associate’s degree or higher (Michigan Labor Market Information, Hot 50 Jobs);
- By 2025, Michigan will need 900,000 more workers with an Associate’s degree or higher to fill available jobs (Lumina Foundation); and,
- Those with higher levels of education earn more and are less likely to be unemployed (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The data also shows that the high standards and rigorous academic requirements implemented over the last few years have led to better results with increases in graduation rates and a steady improvement in the number of Michigan students taking the ACT who are deemed career and college ready. Our goal is to make Michigan a Top Ten state for job, economic and personal income growth.
Whether it’s in traditional Michigan industry sectors like manufacturing and agriculture or growing ones like healthcare and technology, Michigan’s ability to grow economically will be driven by increases in productivity tied to talent and innovation – and our education system is a primary incubator of both.
The Common Core State Standards will ensure that all Michigan kids have the academic knowledge and skills in mathematics and English language arts to succeed after high school and help create a bright economic future for Michigan. On behalf of Business Leaders for Michigan, I respectfully seek your support in removing any barriers to implementing the Common Core State Standards.
Doug Rothwell President & CEO
cc: The Honorable Rick Snyder, Governor The Honorable Brian Calley, Lieutenant Governor The Honorable Jase Bolger, Speaker of the House The Honorable Randy Richardville, Senate Majority Leader The Honorable Tim Greimel, House Minority Leader The Honorable Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Minority Leader The Honorable Bill Rogers, State Representative The Honorable Howard Walker, State Senator The Honorable Lisa Posthumus Lyons, State Representative The Honorable Phil Pavlov, State Senator Mike Flanagan, State Superintendent of Public Instruction