College presidents express support for Common Core

Common Core works to standardize learning goals across state lines.
Common Core works to standardize learning goals across state lines.
Joint Base Lewis McChord via Flickr.

Higher education leaders in 33 states on Tuesday announced the formation of a coalition in support of Common Core education standards rolling out in most states.

The more than 200 college presidents and state higher education leaders say the K-12 standards represent a significant improvement over most states' standards. They say they are needed to tackle the high rate of students needing remedial help in college, and that the higher education community has a "clear and compelling" stake in the debate.

"These standards are good for our students, our states and our country," said Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York. "We must have students that are college- and career-ready in order for the United States to continue to compete and win in the 21st Century global economy."

Zimpher, in a statement, said the formation of the coalition is a call to action and she urges all colleagues in higher education to "stand up and make their voices heard on Common Core."

The coalition said that about half of all students going to 2-year college and 20 percent going to a 4-year institution need remedial help. Only a small number of these students later graduate.

John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, says higher education leaders have been working to address this, but "we believe Common Core standards, with their focus on critical thinking and problem solving, can help improve student success."

The standards spell out what math and English skills students should master at each grade. They were adopted on a state-by-state basis but have faced push-back. Governors in Indiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma have signed legislation to repeal them.

The federal government has offered incentives to states to adopt career and college ready standards such as Common Core. That has led to accusations of federal intrusion. There have also been complaints that the standards are untested and that they have not been properly implemented.

California college leaders supporting Common Core


Name Office School Location
Ruben Arminana President Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA
Jeffrey D. Armstrong President California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA
Joseph Castro President California State University, Fresno Fresno, CA
William A. Covino President California State University, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
Thomas A. Cropper President California State University, Maritime Vallejo, CA
Mildred Garcia President California State University, Fullerton Fullerton, CA
Alexander Gonzalez President California State University, Sacramento Sacramento, CA
Brice W. Harris Chancellor California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Sacramento, CA
Dianne F. Harrison President California State University, Northridge Northridge, CA
Karen S. Haynes President California State San Marcos San Marcos, CA
Horace Mitchell President California State University, Bakersfield Bakersfield, CA
Tomás D. Morales President California State University, San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
Leroy M. Morishita President California State University East Bay Hayward, CA
Eduardo M. Ochoa President California State University Monteray Bay Seaside, CA
J. Michael Ortiz President California State Polytechnic University Pomona Pomona, CA
Donald Para President California State University, Long Beach Long Beach, CA
Mohammad H. Qayoumi President San Jose State University San José, CA
Richard R. Rush President California State University, Channel Islands Camarillo, CA
Joseph Staley President California State University, Stanislaus Turlock, CA
Timothy P. White Chancellor California State System Long Beach, CA
Leslie Wong President San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
Paul Zingg President California State University, Chico Chico, CA

Full membership of the coalition »