The mission of Higher Ed for Higher Standards is to elevate the voices of higher education leaders in support of more ambitious K-12 standards—standards that are aligned with the expectations students face in college and careers.  States that are implementing college- and career-ready standards, including the Common Core State Standards or variations on those standards that have been tailored to state or local needs, are positioning their students for successful transition into postsecondary education and the workforce.

Higher Ed for Higher Standards has adopted the following principles:

1. Every state should insist on K-12 academic standards that adequately prepare students for college and careers so that every young person has the opportunity to pursue postsecondary education, or quality training and careers, after high school. Higher education can be a key validator of these standards if they are rigorous enough to align with entry level expectations.  

2. New college- and career-ready assessments are equally critical. States’ previous high school tests do not adequately measure whether students have mastered the new, higher standards. More sophisticated assessment instruments are necessary to provide better feedback to teachers, parents and students, and offer more meaningful information to colleges on students’ postsecondary preparation.

3. Higher education has a clear and compelling stake in this debate. Effective implementation of college- and career-ready standards is an important step toward improving college readiness, reducing remediation rates and improving completion rates in our two- and four-year institutions and among our job-training programs.

We stand with our K-12 colleagues and support their efforts to raise standards. We encourage state policymakers to stay the course on these important reforms. Rolling back or lowering standards would be a disservice to our students and K-12 schools, and to our colleges and universities.