Do the math: Higher education standards = a stronger economy

With the noise of HB2190 now in our rearview mirror, we can now focus on student achievement.

Mike Huckins

Mike Huckins

High academic standards are here to stay in Arizona, at least for now, as Arizona lawmakers defeated yet another effort to prohibit the state from using the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (ACCRS).

The state Senate recently voted 16-13 to kill legislation that would have required the state Board of Education to scrap the academic standards it approved in 2010 and completely start over.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce supports higher education standards and welcomes the review and improvements to the ACCRS as Governor Ducey has asked the State Board of Education to conduct.

Higher academic standards are a good thing for a number of reasons.

Not only do higher standards prepare students for wherever their dreams take them, but they will also be more internationally competitive and be a key part of a skilled workforce.

Approximately 88 percent of Arizona’s employers say current employees need higher levels of learning and deeper knowledge in order to be effective and efficient workers. Higher education standards also have a direct correlation to a stronger economy, providing greater financial and economic opportunity for everyone.

Higher academic standards are what children need to be competitive in the world job market. These standards require Arizona’s students to be more knowledgeable, better critical thinkers and problem solvers.

The chamber welcomes the Board of Education’s review and modification of the standards as needed. It really just makes more sense for the Board of Education to do that rather than the Legislature.

 Editor’s note: Mike Huckins is vice president of public affairs at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

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