Education Week - January 29, 2014 - (Page 10)
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION > Tracking business trends and emerging models in K-12
Business Groups Address
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tempting to sway governors, state
legislators, and state school chiefs,
according to Patrick J. McGuinn, an
associate professor of political science
and education at Drew University in
State chambers of commerce-
which have longstanding relationships,
networks, and well-established
resources-are considered to
be among the most proactive and
highly regarded interest groups.
They are defending the common
core on the grounds that the standards
are essential to business interests
and the long-term economic
viability of their states.
The standards are central to the
Georgia chamber's number-one advocacy
The president of Achieve, a national
research and advocacy group that
helped to develop the standards, flew
to Atlanta from Washington to address
the recent chamber board meeting.
And, as the Georgia state school
board conducts an independent review
of the standards at the behest of Republican
Gov. Nathan Deal this spring
and summer, the chamber plans to
have a high-profile presence.
Chris Clark, the president and CEO
of the Georgia Chamber, said he expects
the process to be fair and balanced.
"We want the business community
to go out and engage," reinforcing
that "we're a state that has made a
commitment to higher standards, and
we want to move forward with that."
At the national level, the emerging
resistance to the standards-
which have been adopted by 46
states and the District of Columbia-are
prompting organized responses
from business leaders.
"The opposition is strong. They
are very vocal, and I don't want to
dismiss concerns folks have around
this," said Cheryl A. Oldham, the vice
president for education policy for the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "That's
why it's incumbent on us to say why
we do support" the standards.
Last summer, the U.S. Chamber
convened state and local chambers
to talk about the issue.
"Common Core: College- and Ca-
reer-Ready Standards," a 16-page
document, was published earlier
this month, and in the coming
weeks, the national organization
will release online tools to help state
and local chambers that want to address
opposition to the standards in
their communities, according to Ms.
Oldham. Some of the funding to develop
those online tools comes from
a $1.38 million grant the chamber
foundation received from the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation late last
year, she said. (The Gates Foundation
has also provided support to
Education Week for its coverage of
the education marketplace and new
approaches to schooling.)
Beyond those strategies, the national
chamber is considering the
production of locally focused videos-
in partnership with state and local
chambers and school districts-that
could be used on the Internet to rally
support for the common core.
Because it's "a different battle in
every state," the national chamber has
not created a one-size-fits-all response
to common-core opposition, according
to Ms. Oldham. Direct assistance for
approaches to rally support for the
common core has been requested by
chambers in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia,
and Missouri. As for dissension
in the ranks of state chambers about
common-core support, Ms. Oldham
said she has not heard of any.
Some state chambers are watch-
ing Kentucky, because it was the first
state to adopt the common-core standards.
Kentucky has already administered
its first assessment based on
the standards. The state experienced
drops in student scores, as anticipated,
but with little public outcry as
a result-unlike what happened in
New York state when scores dropped.
Mr. Adkisson said a major publicinformation
campaign that included
the chamber helped defuse any public
outcry about the test-score drops.
Mr. Adkisson and state education
Commissioner Terry Holliday conducted
a whistle-stop tour, giving 15
joint presentations around the state
to help explain the common core and
manage expectations for test scores,
Mr. Adkisson said.
To mobilize supporters, the Ken-
tucky chamber also worked with the
Prichard Committee on Academic
Excellence, a Lexington, Ky.-based
statewide education advocacy organization,
on a joint initiative to launch
the Business Leader Champions for
Education, a group of 75 business
executives in the state. Today, these
three groups represent a "response
team" to common-core challenges.
"We were fortunate to be in front
of this before some of the political
crosswinds were beginning to blow,"
said James R. Allen, the chairman of
the champions group.
Even with the level of acceptance
in Kentucky, a group of Republicans
introduced a bill in the House this
month to repeal the common core,
but the chairman of the House education
committee, a Democrat, declined
to call it up for a vote.
"One of the favorite tactics in all
these legislative debates is how
many bills have been filed in how
many states. Just having a bill filed
doesn't mean anything. If it passes a
committee or a house, that's another
thing," said Derek Redelman, a vice
president who focuses on education
and workplace policy for the Indiana
Chamber of Commerce, which has
10 | EDUCATION WEEK | January 29, 2014 | www.edweek.org
been active in supporting the common
In Indiana, where the common
core has encountered strong opposition,
Mr. Redelman said the chamber
ran radio spots at the end of the
last legislative session when support
"We were hearing consistently that
Republicans felt the need to roll back
common core or face repercussions
from the tea party activists in future
elections," he said. The radio campaign
was intended to "remind Republicans
that we also care about the
issue, and ... to show that we were capable
of applying pressure," he added.
A bit surprised by the mounting
backlash, most chamber supporters
seem to think the standards will stand
the test of the tea party backlash. But
they wish President Barack Obama
and his education secretary, Arne
Duncan, would stop publicly endorsing
"The more the administration talks
about common core, the worse it is
for the effort," said Ms. Oldham, who
worked for eight years in President
George W. Bush's administration,
most recently as acting assistant secretary
for postsecondary education
while also serving as chief of staff to
the undersecretary of education.
David C. Adkisson, the president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber
of Commerce, says his state avoided public outcry after a joint effort
to educate the public about what to expect from the new standards.
Would Federal Incentives Entice States to Pass DREAM Acts?
| LEARNING THE LANGUAGE | Democratic lawmakers in Congress have rolled out legislation that proposes financial
incentives for states that adopt measures making college tuition more affordable for undocumented students.
Introduced by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, the In-State for
Dreamers Act would raise fees on visas issued to international students who study in the United States.
That revenue-roughly $750 million during the next decade-would be funneled to states that already offer
in-state tuition rates or financial-aid packages to undocumented students. The measure would also seek to
entice the 31 states that don't have their own so-called DREAM Acts to scrap any immigration-status conditions
connected to receiving lower tuition and/or qualifying for financial aid.
Gaining traction in Congress-or the states-seems iffy at best, given that only Democrats are listed as
sponsors, not to mention the larger, more divisive (and partisan) differences surrounding immigration reform.
On the flip side, Murray and Polis have focused on a subgroup of undocumented immigrants who have
generated more support among GOP lawmakers: some undocumented youths who were brought to the United
States as children by their parents. And raising revenue through new fees imposed on international students
would seem more politically palatable.
But like in Congress, some states are just as divided on the immigration issue, and no amount of federal
money would likely persuade them to act.
Coverage of entrepreneurship and
innovation in education and school
design is supported in part by a grant
from the Carnegie Corporation of New
York. Education Week retains sole
editorial control over the content of this
-LESLI A. MAXWELL
New York Not Alone in Looking to 'Review' Common Standards
| STATE EDWATCH | In his budget address last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that, due to his
disappointment over the way the state's board of regents has rolled out the Common Core State Standards, he
will assemble a panel to examine the standards and recommend "corrective action."
The pushback has been bubbling in the Empire State for some time. Just to cite one example, the state
teachers' union and others are upset about the state's implementation of the common-core-aligned curriculum.
And just over a month ago, the board of regents announced it would be setting up its own review of common
core in the state. GOP Sen. John Flanagan also held his own public hearings on the standards. Soon, you may
not be able to count the number of official common-core reviews in New York on one hand.
New York has company. In South Dakota, for example, the Senate education committee approved a bill to
institute an official study of the standards. In Tennessee, a group of GOP lawmakers are putting their own
"pause" legislation together that would stop the common core, as well as the associated assessments from the
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
And don't forget, there's a bill from a Republican lawmaker in Indiana that would extend the state's current
review of the standards until 2015. Right now, it's set to end this upcoming summer. That's assuming the
standards survive that long, given recent remarks from Gov. Mike Pence.
Philip Scott Andrews for Education Week
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 29, 2014
Education Week - January 29, 2014
Ruling Raises Internet-Access Concerns
Cheating Case Implicates Phila. Educators
Graduation Disparities Loom Large
Business Groups Defend Common Standards
News in Brief
Common Science Standards Are Slow to Catch On in States
Surge in Charter Schools Stirs Concerns in North Carolina
Blogs of the Week
Turnaround Program Receives Makeover In Budget Deal
Some Waiver States Feeling Common-Core Test Pinch
Needy Students, Tech Disparities at Issue
Blogs of the Week
Advocates Welcome New Federal Aid Aimed at Youngest
Collective-Bargaining Case Takes Spotlight at High Court
ANNA E. BARGAGLIOTTI: Statistics: The New ‘It’ Common-Core Subject
BEN ZIMMER & DANIELLA ROHR: Funding Students, Not Bureaucracies, For Early-Childhood Education
CLARKE L. RUBEL: Talking About a Reformation
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
LYNETTE TANNIS: Twice Punished: Education’s ‘Invisible’ Incarcerated Youths
Education Week - January 29, 2014