Business Community Commends President Obama’s Focus on Improving America’s Schools

WASHINGTON, DC—The Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA), representing business leaders from every sector of the U.S. economy, today commended President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for their continued emphasis on improving America’s schools with targeted strategies to address the nation’s high school dropout rate.

“As a co-chair of the BCSA, I applaud the president and Secretary Duncan for shining the spotlight on education,” said Edward B. Rust, Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm. “As we work towards reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a focus on improving graduation rates and addressing the achievement gap will be critical to improving academic outcomes for our children.”

The BCSA believes that all schools must continue to be accountable for getting all students the skills and education necessary to succeed for college and the workforce. Special attention must be placed on the less-than-3% of high schools that produce half of America’s dropouts. BCSA strongly encourages school systems to support initiatives that develop new personnel and governance policies in low-performing schools; target distribution of effective educators to high-needs schools through updated incentive programs; and ensure that states and districts undertake proven interventions to put an end to “business as usual” at chronically low-performing schools.

“Improving educational outcomes for students is an economic issue and a moral imperative we all must work on together,” Rust stated.

The BCSA looks forward to working with the Administration and the Congress in reauthorizing the ESEA this year.

The Business Coalition for Student Achievement – representing business leaders from every sector of the economy – is committed to supporting policies that improve the performance of the K-12 education system in the United States. The Coalition is co-chaired by Craig R. Barrett, former Chairman of Intel; William D. Green, Chairman and CEO of Accenture; and Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm, and is coordinated by Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.