Council on Postsecondary Education President Bob King and 14 of Kentucky’s campus presidents today joined more than 200 leaders from 30 states in a new coalition, Higher Ed for Higher Standards, to mobilize in support of the Common Core State Standards.

Postsecondary leaders view the Common Core standards, with their focus on career and college readiness, as critical for improving student success. The coalition can be found on the Web: http://higheredforhigherstandards.org.

CPE President Bob King said, “The Common Core provides a long overdue alignment between what kids learn in K-12 and what is necessary to succeed in college or a decent job. These standards are a vital effort to improve America's capacity to remain a competitive economy in the 21st century."

Kentucky presidents who have joined the coalition so far are listed below.

Four-year signatories:

  • Dr. Gary Ransdell, Western Kentucky University
  • Dr. Tim Miller, Murray State University
  • Dr. Wayne Andrews, Morehead State University
  • Dr. Michael Benson, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Dr. Eli Capilouto, University of Kentucky

Two-year signatories

  • Dr. Stephen Greiner, Hazard Community and Technical College
  • Dr. Augusta Julian, Bluegrass Community and Technical College
  • Dr. F. Lynn Moore, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Dr. Barbara Veazey, West Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Dr. Phillip Neal, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Dr. Kay Adkins, Ashland Community and Technical College
  • Dr. Anthony Newberry, Jefferson Community and Technical College
  • Dr. G. Edward Hughes, Gateway Community and Technical College
  • Dr. Kris Williams, Henderson Community College

Higher Ed for Higher Standards believes the Common Core standards can help colleges and universities in their efforts to reduce remediation rates and improve student success.

In Kentucky, during the 2012-13 academic year, 46.5 percent of recent Kentucky high school graduates entering two-year public colleges and 22.6 percent of recent Kentucky high school graduates entering four-year public institutions were diverted into remedial coursework due to lack of academic preparedness. The most recent graduation rates (reported for 2012-13) indicate that slightly more than one in 10 (12.8%) graduate from community college within three years and nearly half (48.9%) complete bachelor’s degrees in six years.

The Higher Ed for Higher Standards coalition is based on three 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. The Common Core State Standards were developed by states to serve this goal and represent a significant improvement over most states’ previous standards.
  2. New assessments aligned to the Common Core standards are equally critical. States’ current 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 the Common Core standards and aligned assessments is an important step toward improving college readiness, reducing remediation rates and improving completion rates in two- and four-year institutions and job-training programs.

Looking ahead, Higher Ed for Higher Standards members across the states have committed to helping raise public awareness about the importance of the standards and making their voices heard with state policymakers, urging them to stay the course on career- and college-ready expectations.

Higher Ed for Higher Standards is a project of the Collaborative for Student Success, a grant-making initiative created with the pooled resources of a diverse group of regional and national education foundations committed to improving public education.


We believe in the transformative power of postsecondary education. Stronger by Degrees, the new strategic agenda for Kentucky’s colleges and universities and adult basic education, is powering a stronger Kentucky economy and improving the lives of Kentuckians. To learn more about Stronger by Degrees, visit http://cpe.ky.gov/strongerbydegrees.
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