One of the most important steps Tennessee is taking to better prepare students is to raise the bar for what our students learn in the classroom.

Math_on_Small_Chalkboard_SmallHarry Brooks is chairman of the Education Committee of the Tennessee House of Representatives and represents House District 19 in Knox County. Thom Mason is director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Over the next month, students and teachers in East Tennessee will finish another successful school year. The 2012-13 school year was an important one for our state. It was marked by achievement gains for our students and by the implementation of new efforts to better prepare students for college and the workforce.

There is no doubt that Tennessee is making important strides in improving public education.

One of the most important steps Tennessee is taking to better prepare students is to raise the bar for what our students learn in the classroom. In the past, Tennessee has been the black sheep across the country because of our lax standards and low expectations. Our students were not adequately prepared for a workforce that demands critical thinking, problem-solving skills and creativity.

But that is changing.

Tennessee is raising academic standards for all students through an effort called the Common Core State Standards. The new standards are a set of higher expectations that were developed by state leaders from across the country.

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Source: Harry Brooks and Thom Mason | Knoxville News Sentinel | April 27, 2013