Tag Archives: John King

High Achievement New York to launch campaign

HighAchieveHigh Achievement New York, a statewide educational organization that includes The Business Council of New York State, will launch an advertising campaign in the coming months to educate business leaders about the benefits of the Common Core Learning Standards.

Frank Thomas, High Achievement New York’s  executive director told reporter Jessica Bakeman of Capital New York, “We want every child to have a chance at a great education, and that is why community leaders, educators and businesses have joined together to ensure that the high standards and dedication to excellence that the Common Core promotes make it into every classroom.”

Businesses frequently cite the mismatch in skills between graduates and open positions highlighting the shortage of technical skills and other “workplace skills,” such as time management, problem solving or teamwork. Educational initiatives that prepare students for the workforce and address the “skills gap” are a priority for The Business Council.

Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., also spoke with Bakeman. Highlighting why Common Core Learning Standards are important to The Business Council’s membership, she stressed that businesses are focused on students having the skills they need when they graduate college. She also added that business leaders should not be, “distracted by some of the arguments that are being raised in the pain of transition.”

The campaign announcement comes on the heels of Education Commissioner John King’s speech to the Association for a Better New York on Wednesday. King called on business leaders to support the Common Core Learning Standards saying, “Your leadership is essential to achieving this goal.”

Each year approximately 140,000 students graduate unprepared for college or the workforce. The Business Council believes that business has a a responsibility to help students achieve their best. The importance of fostering career and workforce readiness for students is crucial to New York’s economic competitiveness, which depends on its skilled workforce.

Education reform a priority for The Business Council

Although last week the New York State Board of Regents approved measures to adjust Common Core implementation in New York state — the class of 2022, instead of the class of 2017, will be the first to be required to pass the more rigorous requirements — The Business Council continues to support implementation and the higher academic standards, without delay.

The truth is these standards are much needed to help close the skills gap that exists between recent high school graduates and good paying, in-demand jobs. The Business Council is not the only organization that knows this crucial need.

A recently New York Times editorial, The Common Core in New York, highlights that although the rollout has been bumpy, giving  students a better chance at a good education, is needed and that the state “cannot afford to let this project founder.”

The New York Post recently highlighted how Common Core can help New York students who currently “trail their counterparts in several Asian countries and Russia on math tests.” The article notes that their competitiveness on science exams is even worse.

State Education Commissioner John King also received a show of support from Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, chair of the state Senate Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus. City and State quoted a joint statement from the legislators in an article who said, “While this has been an emotional debate with marked differences in public policy, there is no doubt that Commissioner King remains a public servant devoted to improving the education and welfare of New York’s kids. We will continue to work towards closing the achievement gap and other urgent issues with Commissioner King and other stakeholders.”

Governor Cuomo also recently announced a panel that will recommend improvements in the state’s rollout of the Common Core. The panel will be led by Business Council member Stan Litow, IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs and president of IBM’s Foundation, who has also led the pioneering Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) concept.

The Business Council of New York State encourages all businesses to sign an open letter of support for Common Core Learning Standards. Heather C. Briccetti Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. recently said, “The Business Council of New York State strongly supports the higher academic standards in the Common Core and believes that the state must continue to implement the curriculum without delay.  We also recognize that several corrective actions must be taken in order to be sure that there is a smooth transition to these new, more rigorous standards.

In other education news, a pro-charter schools group, Families for Excellent Schools, launched a campaign opposing New York City Mayor de Blasio’s recent reduction of $210 million in capital as well as a new charter rent policy. The Business Council is a staunch advocate for school choice. Charter schools offer parents and students an alternative to poorly performing public schools. The new Mayor’s efforts to place a moratorium on co-location places city charter schools — most of which fall in high-needs districts — in a position of fiscal uncertainty.

Business Council member, Time Warner Cable News’ blog, State of Politics, recently quoted Rafael Lois, the father of two Girls Prep Bronx scholars who appears in a Families for Excellent Schools video, “The de Blasio administration has said parent voices matter to them, but they seem to be discounting ours. My daughters are receiving an excellent education, which is their moral and legal right, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they continue to have these opportunities.”


Schools: an economic development issue

Rochester’s Mayor-elect Lovely Warren addressed a crowd of more than 300 leaders at a Vision-Future stressing the importance that education has on business and economic development.

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Warren called the city’s schools an economic development issue, stressing that would be her focus along with safe streets.

Warren highlighted a problem faced by many urban school districts around the state: the lack of quality schools in the city, where “less than half of students graduate on time and just 5 percent are considered ready for college or the workforce when they do.”

State Education Commissioner John King was also in the Rochester area yesterday participating in a live forum at WXXI Studios along with state Board of Regents members Wade S. Norwood and T. Andrew Brown.

King said the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) need “tweaking” but there are positive aspects to the tests.  Some of the changes being considered, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle are, “testing options for special needs students, in Spanish language assessments and the phasing out of dual math exams for accelerated students..”

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has resources available to support the successful implementation of the CCLS in classrooms across New York state over the next several years.  They are located on the Engage NY website.  The Business Council supports these standards that will help prepare students for college and career readiness. The standards are internationally-benchmarked and evidence-based, and serve as a consistent set of expectations for what students need to learn and be able to do to succeed in college and in careers.