, Muskogee, OK


April 4, 2010

No strong standards cause children to fail


Almost inevitably there will be an attempt to weaken these standards. This must be resisted. There will be those who assert that American students can't meet the standards in place in other countries. This is an insult to our children.

The current effort around Common Core Standards resembles the United States effort in the 1950's and 1960's to bolster education in math and science following the launch of the Soviet Sputnik satellite. It was one of America's great moments in reforming math and science education. Back then, we recognized the challenges, admitted to the growing competition we faced and responded. Today, we must do the same.

We must acknowledge that other nations challenge our economic and educational superiority and are doing everything they can to make sure their children are more prepared than ours to succeed in the competition for great jobs.

These common core standards represent a significant achievement in helping to assure that all students, regardless of income, zip code or skin color receive a challenging, high quality education.

These also represent a singular opportunity: A dramatic transformation in how we prepare and educate the next generation will pay dividends in the ensuing decades. The creation of these standards puts the rest of the world on notice that America knows the competition is on and is playing to win.

Daniels is the governor of Indiana, and Markell the governor of Delaware.

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