Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a leader in educational reform and competitiveness, today became the first Member of Congress to endorse the new bipartisan campaign for a common core curriculum for public schools nationwide.
"Make no mistake, we are in a global competition for economic growth and innovation and it is our young people who will lead us into the fray. As we ask our teachers to prepare the next generation to compete globally, it is only fair that we give them the tools they need," said Fattah, author of groundbreaking education legislation during his nine terms in Congress.
"Algebra in Philadelphia, Mississippi, is no different than algebra in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania," he said. "We must equip all students with the tools to compete and achieve. Today I join an impressive list of individuals from across the ideological spectrum who have come together in support of a high-quality public education for all students, the key to the nation's economic future."
The "Call for Common Content" was issued this morning (March 7) by the Albert Shanker Institute. Educators, business and labor leaders issued the call in a statement today advocating "a clear road map in the form of rich, common curriculum content." It would extend beyond basic English and math while staying compatible with local control of schools.
"The magnitude of the achievement gap in America's schools has been characterized by economists as "the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession'--one substantially larger than the deep recession the country is currently experiencing," Fattah said. "Simply raising the cognitive skills of the lowest performing American students on PISA, the international standardized test used to determine countries' global rankings, would add $72 trillion to GDP over the lifetime of a child born in 2010."
Congressman Fattah, from Philadelphia, PA, is architect of GEAR UP -- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs -- the most successful national initiative to prepare and equip low income students beginning in sixth grade for college admission and the rigors of undergraduate studies.
He has led the fight in Congress for a holistic approach to education for underserved students through a variety of programs from preschool to graduate school.
For more on "Common Content" see http://www.ashankerinst.org/curriculum.html