By Howard Gobstein, Executive Vice President and Co-Project Director, Science & Mathematics Teacher Imperative
April 30, 2014—APLU believes higher standards in education are important and we support the Common Core State Standards. Developed at the behest of governors, chief state school officers, and business leaders, the standards have been adopted in a large number of states in part as a response to lagging international standing by U.S. students. APLU has endorsed the Higher State Standards Partnership (HSSP), a group supported by the Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and hundreds of individual businesses and local chamber chapters.
The HSSP launched a television ad campaign to highlight why many teachers believe the Common Core State Standards are critical to student success and an advocacy website, www.thecommoncore.com, to provide background and resources. The website includes a section on facts vs. myths that surround the Standards.
We support the Education Strategy Group’s “Higher Ed for Higher Standards,” a nascent effort by the foundation-supported Collaborative for Student Success. This group is committed to college-and-career-ready standards for all students and has issued a Call to Action for Postsecondary Leaders.
APLU recognizes the need to ensure all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life. The Common Core State Standards are research- and evidence-based standards with goals aligned with college and career expectations. These Standards are informed by other top performing countries in order to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society.
In October of 2011, APLU began the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-Partnership) to meet the challenges of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The MTE-Partnership encompasses 38 teams across 30 states — including 69 universities, 87 school systems, community colleges, and several state departments of education – and is growing. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust recently awarded a $1.05 million grant to aid the Partnership’s efforts to coordinate research, development, and implementation effort to transform secondary mathematics teacher preparation. We recently began aligned work with several member universities in preparation for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are several years behind the Common Core in implementation.