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Mike Kirst Warns Against Delay of Common Core Implementation

May 2013

In a recent Sacramento Bee op-ed article, Collaborative member Mike Kirst and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson argue that California should not delay its implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Kirst and Torlakson acknowledge that successful implementation of the CCSS will require substantial investments in teacher training, new classroom materials, and updated technology to administer new computer-based assessments aligned with the CCSS.  These costs are particularly daunting at a time when the state’s education system is just beginning to recover from severe financial distress which, despite the recent passage of Proposition 30, will take years to be fully alleviated.  Despite these challenges, Kirst and Torlakson believe that in the face of rigorous and ever increasing demands of the 21st century workplace, California cannot afford to delay CCSS implementation.  Specifically, without ensuring that all students have the critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills valued by employers – and emphasized in the CCSS – California risks jeopardizing its own economic future.  Mike Kirst is the president of the California State Board of Education and Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University.