Conversations on College- and Career-Readiness

College- and career-ready educational standards ensure that America’s students are successfully developing the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century economy. Voluntarily adopted by states, these rigorous standards—Common Core State Standards—provide a clear, consistent framework for what students should know and be able to perform at each grade level throughout their K-12 education. The implementation by states began several years ago, and has understandably brought challenges and questions in the process. The Committee for Economic Development (CED) is pleased to present a podcast series about key K-12 educational issues that address college- and career-readiness for all students. Our series features both CED Members as well as national experts.

The Committee for Economic Development thanks the Carnegie Corporation of New York for their generous support of this podcast project.

Today, U.S businesses struggle to find talent and spend millions annually to bolster the skills of their entry-level workers. That’s why ensuring students develop the requisite skill sets for success in the 21st century economy remains a top priority of the Committee for Economic Development’s (CED) Membership.

As CED Member and State Farm Executive Chairman Ed Rust emphasizes in this video, creating a top-tier educational system depends, in part, on rigorous educational standards and strong leadership from the business community. Learn more about how business leaders and others are making a difference by listening to CED’s “Conversations on College- and Career-Readiness" podcast series.

Top 10 List of Business Leader Recommendations for Education Engagement

  1. 1
    Your STORY is Authentic Understand that your story is authentic. Business leaders know what their companies need, and when they are not getting it. Be forthright in your community about talent requirements.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  2. 2
    Your STORY is Authentic Support high-quality, K-12 educational standards in the states. Persist and be consistent with your message.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  3. 3
    Your PLATFORM is Substantial Leverage your voice through trade and business associations, and chambers of commerce.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  4. 4
    Your PLATFORM is Substantial Educate and then enlist employees to become champions of stronger educational standards.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  5. 5
    Your PLATFORM is Substantial Support state and local policymakers in their efforts to implement rigorous educational standards and aligned assessments (as well as on related issues).

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  6. 6
    Your MONEY can Work Harder Put your philanthropy to work in organizations that have measurable outcomes. Don’t think of it as an extension of your marketing budget, but as an opportunity to make strategic investments in the workforce of tomorrow.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  7. 7
    Your MONEY can Work Harder Determine what issues your company is most passionate about and go deep. Most companies hedge and make small contributions across multiple issue areas.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  8. 8
    Your MONEY can Work Harder Partner with districts and schools in your community such as by offering internships and scholarships.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  9. 9
    Your MONEY can Work Harder Support investment in human capital such as professional development for educators.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

  10. 10
    Your MONEY can Work Harder Vocalize the need for data as a tool to measure results. Make sure it is accessible and transparent. It not only helps schools and parents, but also helps voters become more informed.

    Click here to download a PDF of the Top 10 List.

April 01, 2016

Developing the Talent Pipeline in the Workforce

“The U.S. K-12 system has been tested. We know there’s more to do in technical skills, but while we’re doing that, the K-12 system should not ignore the critical thinking, teamwork, etc. that are the soft skills.”

“While most of the newspaper focus is around ‘hard skills’ (STEM), the softer skills (communication, teamwork) are equally and in some ways more important.”

“I am very excited about the work that CED is doing in this space around education and particularly the focus on financial literacy and financial education, nothing can be more important.”

“At the end of the day, the most important thing that business leaders can provide is our own human capital as we help to educate others.”

Featuring Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.
President and CEO

January 11, 2016

How These Standards Further Equity of Opportunity

“These gaps, as long as they exist are not good for America…we’re going to continue to have many individuals not being able to take advantage of what this country offers and not being able to give back to this country what they could give back.”

“[Business leaders] telling the story of what a good education does for the economy from the business perspective is so important because they have an authentic voice and are listened to at all levels…they know what they need…and they know when they’re not getting it.”

“Education and how well educated a person is…touches health, level in the workforce, and what kind of house they’re going to live in…it is the key to having a good life.”

Featuring Delia Pompa
Senior Fellow for Education Policy
Migration Policy Institute

December 15, 2015

The Importance and Challenges of Education Reform

“We need to remained concerned…about the fact that young Americans have lagged behind young people from other nations… and while there are signs of progress…we can’t be complacent about the results.”

“Teacher quality is the single most important variable in K-12 education.”

Featuring Mitch Daniels
Former Governor
State of Indiana;
Current President
Purdue University

December 01, 2015

The Role of Assessments in Education from a Business Perspective

“That’s what’s really at risk; quality of life and the ability of the United States to compete on a global stage.”

“It’s not just about sending out the standards to teachers…It’s about providing support for teachers… that means high quality, sustained professional development that is grounded in data.”

“At the end of the day…we need tests because…they paint a picture of an individual child’s strengths and weaknesses…of where we can help the child improve.”

Featuring Dane Linn
Vice President
The Business Roundtable

November 16, 2015

The Impact of Education on Workplace Success

“The strength of the next generation is going to define how our businesses compete, how our communities look, and the strength of our cities…what the business community needs to do is be engaged…to ensure new ways that every child has the opportunity for a productive life.”

“Recognizing that educating our children for opportunity is probably our single most important responsibility. And failure to do that really has enormous costs for individuals, for families, and our economy.”

“We want our young people put in the best position to have productive lives, and I think that in some cases we are failing.”

Featuring George Barrett
Chairman and CEO
Cardinal Health

October 20, 2015

The Role of STEM and Education, and its Economic Impact

“STEM education…extends beyond the content knowledge to include the development of really critical life and workforce skills.”

“We have a real risk of being out-innovated…that really puts in jeopardy the financial well-being of the world’s largest economy.”

“We’ve got to take a hard look…and understand where the United States sits vis-a-vis the rest of the industrialized world when it comes to STEM preparedness.”

Featuring Matthew Randazzo
National Math and Science Initiative

October 15, 2015

The Role of Educational Data

“Data really is much more than a single test score…the more information [teachers and parents] have…the better personalized learning there is…the challenge right now is how we use this to make sure every child in the country succeeds.”

“We have a whole lot we can learn not just from corporate America, but also any organization that has that culture that values data for continuous improvement.”

“One of the greatest things that the business community can do is to help build the capacity of local leadership.”

Featuring Aimee Guidera
The Data Quality Campaign