CNN talks to Musgrove about education

If anybody tells you that your education is not worth it, the numbers speak for themselves. But there is a problem, and that is education at the high school level in this country is not consistent. So, an employer may want you to have a high school diploma, but they may not know exactly what they’re getting. I’ve got a guest with me right now, Ronnie Musgrove. You’ll know him. You’ll look at him and you’ll know him. He’s the former governor of Mississippi. He joins us now from Jackson. He’s the chairman of the High School Achievement Commission and involved in a national report card that comes out grading, basically, how well we’re doing in our education system.

Governor Musgrove, thank you for being with us. Give us your take on this.

RONNIE MUSGROVE, FMR. MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR: Ali, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

High school students today need more than just a diploma. They need the critical skills and the thinking that colleges, universities and businesses expect. And particularly today, when the United States faces both high unemployment and a shortage of skilled workers and professionals.

No single issue is more important than preparing high school students to meet the demand of the global economy. So what we want to do is, we want to clearly and effectively communicate to businesses, employers, universities and colleges what it is that they’re getting when a student graduates from the 12th grade. We think that’s critically important.

VELSHI: And I can’t imagine that — I mean, I think the issue with consistency on that varies probably from township to township, or county to county within a state.

What is it that we need to do to make that something that no matter where you are in the country, an employer knows what they’re getting if you’ve got a 12th grade diploma?

MUSGROVE: Well, the commission which I’m chairing was appointed by the National Assessment Governing Board, which has the NAEP, which is the America’s or the United States’ report card. What is significant today is that there is no common guide or measurement across the country that tells the stakeholders like universities and colleges and businesses, you know, how many students we’re preparing and sending out from high school who are academically prepared for college or for job training. And we believe that that’s critical. The second component is that the state school superintendent’s offices across the country and the National Governors Association both are working on common core curriculum that we believe is important to have at least a minimum standard, so that when someone is looking for a student, say, from either West Virginia, from Michigan, Mississippi, or Colorado, they know that they have met and meet the rigorous requirements that’s necessary for them to graduate.

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