Almost 70% of U.S. students aren’t proficient in reading and basic math, based on international standards.
Few things have greater impact on the future of our country's prosperity and competitive standing in the world than our education system. It must prepare students to pursue their dreams, earn a living and provide for their families, and contribute to our economy. It must provide a steady flow of qualified workers so businesses can continue to operate, thrive, and grow. And in a global economy, investment follows talent‹investors will pour capital into economies with a strong and stable workforce.
But shortcomings in America's K-12 public schools threaten to hold our country back. Too many students are not being adequately prepared for college or careers. The result is a persistent skills gap that is leaving millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed while employers struggle to find qualified candidates to fill open positions.
In an effort to close that gap and to create opportunities for all Americans, the Chamber advocates for:
- Rigorous academic standards that prepare students for college or career;
- Smarter investment of education dollars;
- Greater transparency and accountability in our system;
- Stronger competition among schools and more choice for parents;
- And the deployment of innovative tools and techniques in classrooms.
The Chamber also works to address challenges in higher education. The United States has the best colleges, universities, and research institutions in the world. But students seeking access to postsecondary education programs are increasingly burdened with economic and educational barriers. And fewer than half of students who enter postsecondary programs graduate in six years. The Chamber promotes improved access and affordability, increased transparency, and a focus on multiple pathways for students to gain postsecondary credentials needed to succeed in the workplace.