ON-Lion Letter
In late February in Washington, D.C., a diverse group of teachers, scholars, superintendents, education-reform advocates, and a teachers'-union leader announced the formation of a research and advocacy organization devoted to promoting and enhancing liberal arts and sciences education in America's elementary and secondary schools.  Called Common Core, the new group's basic premise is that every young American needs and deserves a comprehensive, content-rich education.

"We believe that a child who graduates from high school without a broad-based education has in fact been left behind," said Lynne Munson, Common Core's executive director.  "Only a complete liberal arts and sciences education that includes the arts, history, languages, and science -- in addition to reading and math -- will enable today's students to become tomorrow's well-prepared citizens."

The federal No Child Left Behind Act has led to a focus on basic reading and math skills in America's classrooms.  Common Core will support parents, educators, and others who are pushing for a broad liberal education for all children.  It will promote programs, policies, and initiatives at the federal,
state, and local levels that provide students with challenging instruction in literature, mathematics, science, geography, civics and government, history, economics, foreign languages, and the arts.

On the day Common Core was announced, it released a report showing that many of America's high-school students do not possess the basic knowledge they need to achieve their full potential as democratic citizens.  "Still At Risk:  What Students Don't Know, Even Now," by American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research education scholar Frederick M. Hess, demonstrates a stunning ignorance about basic facts of U.S. history and literature.  Overall, the 17,000 17-year-olds surveyed for the study earned a "D."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports Common Core.
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