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Washington business leaders support the Common Core


Washington educators and administrators have earned the support of businesses across the state. America's Edge, an organization composed of business leaders in Washington state, conducted a report on the quality of potential workers in the state and has publicly voiced its approval of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Growing expectations for the next generation
Representatives of America's Edge have spoken out against the growing skills gap in America after reviewing the results of the study. They believe that implementing the CCSS in Washington's schools will help shrink that gap as the next generation of workers finish school and prepare for the real world.

Support from local business executives is a welcomed relief for state and local advocates of the Standards as the debate over their effectiveness dies down across the nation.

The CCSS, which were adopted by the state of Washington in 2011, are academic benchmarks suggested by a committee of U.S. governors and education experts. These benchmarks have raised expectations for students, from kindergarten through high school, to accomplish more in shorter periods of time. Yearly exams that focus on the Standards have been a way of measuring student progress and also serve as a means of teacher evaluation in some states. It is the hope of those who developed the Standards that skilled students become educated and capable workers after high school. If they go on to college, they become even more marketable and can be potential leaders in whatever sector they choose to work in.

Higher standards equal a brighter future
According to Steve Leahy, a member of America's Edge, the Standards are paving a path to a brighter future for Washington students. He believes that if students achieve higher levels of knowledge and skills at an earlier age, Washington will experience long-term, sustainable economic growth.

"Of course, higher standards are always a good idea," Leahy told Stanwood Camano News.

After reading the report, Brad Jurkovich, the principal at Fisher-Jurkovich Public Affairs, also expressed concern over the impending skills gap. He fears that many industries will be affected in the coming years because of the lack of competent workers.

"Washington state is struggling to find qualified workers to fill jobs in health care, sales and construction management, finance, architecture, engineering, and information technology," Jurkovich said in a statement.

Implementing the CCSS in state schools is just a part of a greater vision for Washington. America's Edge also supports innovative high school models that train students for real jobs. These career academies give student's real world, work-based learning experiences that are connected to the skills they can use after graduation.