MINNEAPOLIS (April 16, 2013) — The Coalition of Minnesota Businesses (CMB), an organization of 11 employer groups representing more than 20,000 employers with hundreds of thousands of employees across the state, Tuesday announced the start of an ad campaign that will ask Minnesotans to tell their elected officials: Don’t fail our children by dumbing down their diploma.
“Right now at the Capitol, legislators are debating a bill that would eliminate the basic competency tests in reading, writing and math that Minnesota high schoolers must pass to earn a diploma. If these tests and the minimum standards they represent disappear, a Minnesota high school diploma will become little more than a timecard,” said Minnesota Business Partnership executive director Charlie Weaver. “Lowering the bar for Minnesota students at a time when most other states are setting higher expectations for their students is exactly the wrong thing to do – and is particularly harmful to students of color. We already have the worst achievement gap in the nation. This will make it worse.”
“As a teacher and principal I know that if we don’t set high expectations for students, we’re failing them before they even enter a classroom,” said Mary Donaldson, Director of Academics at Community School of Excellence in St. Paul. “These tests were designed to ensure that every student who graduated from a Minnesota high school met those standards and was prepared to succeed.”
The issue advocacy campaign includes statewide TV and radio ads, and targeted internet ads. The radio ads and TV ad, “Global Economy,” can be accessed via the CMB’s website: www.mnbusiness.com.
Weaver and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David Olson recently authored a commentary in the Star Tribune that addressed the importance of maintaining high standards and rigorous testing.
Established in 1990, the Coalition of Minnesota Businesses is a non-partisan, grassroots organization comprised of 11 employer groups representing more than 20,000 Minnesota employers with hundreds of thousands of employees across the state.