While education has primarily been the state's responsibility, we believe that a national standard that is created with the directive to show how students compare across the nation will help clarify our national academic identity and improve the likelihood that students will desire to attain higher levels of academic achievement. We believe this will directly contribute to their ability to be employable after high school, and give employers confidence that the nation's new graduates have mastered basic skills. We believe this test should cover reading and math as its core curriculum topics as these skills are imperative to learning nearly every other academic and vocational skill.
We believe this test should not be a required mandate by the federal government for graduation, but instead encouraged as a supplemental certification that students can proudly display nationwide on their resumes and college applications.
While the national graduation rate is often touted (and sometimes lambasted), it is unclear to the hiring public what the value of a high school education is from state to state. The current national rate of students attending college, and students graduating from high school with college readiness have typically been about the same. If we make students aware of what is expected of them at a national level, they will rise to the challenge.
--Whitney and Sharon