Education & Workforce | Page 7 | Business Roundtable

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What is Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

More Than Leaders. Leadership.

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote a thriving economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.

About BRT

As business leaders representing every sector of the economy, Business Roundtable members know that the American economy thrives when U.S. workers have the levels of education and training needed to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our country needs a world-class, skilled workforce to lead in global innovation, ensure future economic growth and drive job creation.

Unfortunately, the U.S. skills gap is real and growing. According to a Business Roundtable member survey, 94 percent of CEOs report that skills gaps are problematic for their companies. This talent gap affects all skill levels – from entry level to the highly technical.

More must be done now to strengthen the education and training pipeline serving youth and working adults so that individuals have the skills needed to be prepared to work and build sustainable career paths.

Business Roundtable Statement on The Every Child Achieves Act

We appreciate the Senate’s bipartisan efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but more work must be done to guarantee all students graduate from high school with the tools necessary to succeed in college and careers.

Trade Compromise Points Way to Action on Economic Growth

This bipartisan approach can serve as an effective model for even more legislative successes in the future.

Senate Letter on ESEA Reauthorization

We are pleased that The Every Child Achieves Act, as passed by the Senate, makes important progress in each of these areas. We also appreciate the hard work that has gone into bringing this bipartisan legislation to the floor, and we look forward to closely working with you to ensure that ESEA is reauthorized as soon as possible.

Letter Opposing ESEA Amendments that Weaken Test Participation

Weakening these requirements would undermine accountability provisions designed to ensure that all children – no matter their background or school – receive the education they deserve.

Joint Letter on Reporting of College Enrollment and Remediation Rates

Senate Amendment 2156 would ensure parents, educators and policymakers have access to publicly reported data on postsecondary enrollment and remediation rates for high school graduates, both overall and for categories of students.

Column: We Mean Business on K-12 Education

The ESEA effectively ends the days of No Child Left Behind, but it doesn’t mean that the federal government has no role in ensuring our children receive the high-quality education they need to be productive citizens. The federal role should be limited, leaving K-12 education primarily up to state government, local schools districts and, of course, parents. But when the federal government is involved, it must make certain its policies hold schools accountable and require that tax dollars be spent wisely.

Business Roundtable Statement on House Passage of the Student Success Act

The House today took an important step toward ensuring all students graduate from high school with the tools necessary to succeed in college and careers, but more needs to be done.

Joint Letter on ESEA Testing

We write today to encourage you to vote against any amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization that would weaken test participation requirements.

Business Leaders Urge Senate to Act on ESEA

Bipartisan Bill Passed by Key Committee Would Strengthen Nation’s K-12 Education System

Coalition Letter on Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Senators Alexander and Murray have produced a positive framework for reauthorizing ESEA that will continue moving our country forward in the effort to ensure all our children receive a quality education.

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Committee Priorities

Improve U.S. K-12 Education

A persistent complaint by employers is that many high school and college graduates – as well as some adult workers – lack foundational skills needed in the 21st century workplace. These include, for example, analyzing complex texts, adapting to new technologies and problem solving.

Rigorous academic standards in K-12 English language arts and mathematics are critical to ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college and the workforce. Business Roundtable supports the full adoption and implementation of high-quality education standards and aligned assessments to raise the performance of U.S. students. Business Roundtable also supports policies and programs that ensure all students read on grade level by the end of third grade.

Align Individual Skills with Employer Needs

Businesses increasingly have difficulty finding employees with the knowledge and training required to meet their workforce needs. This includes both technical skills – such as aptitude in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – and applied skills – such as leadership, problem-solving and communications abilities. This misalignment of skills exacerbates unemployment and stifles economic growth.

Business Roundtable believes a multifaceted solution, involving public and private players, is needed to address this skills mismatch problem. As a start, employers must send a clear, direct “demand signal” of the foundational attributes employees must demonstrate to succeed in the workplace; industry needs to sort out the large and chaotic world of industry credentials; state workforce boards and educational and training centers must understand job needs in each region and focus on helping students acquire the skills needed to fill those jobs; and human resources practices must improve across industry to identify competencies gained through valid credential programs and relevant experience.

Key Federal Legislation

Business Roundtable will continue to advocate for federal legislation that authorizes programs and policies that improve educational outcomes and help close the skills gap, including reauthorization of America COMPETES, the Carl D. Perkins Act and the Higher Education Act.