U.S. Chamber and Indiana Chamber of Commerce Host Education Reform Forum

January 17, 2013

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity Tour Stops in Indianapolis to Rally Thought Leaders in Education, Government, and Business, and Address Local Education Issues

INDIANAPOLIS, IN —Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity, a cross-country tour focused on education reform in local communities, stopped in Indianapolis today. The forum was hosted by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), the National Chamber Foundation (NCF) and Indiana Chamber of Commerce and included education, government and business leaders who gathered to discuss how leaders could work together to increase low achievement levels and improve college and career readiness throughout the state.

“Today, too few students are completing their K–12 education, and increasingly, students are graduating high school without attaining the skills needed to succeed at a postsecondary institution or the workforce,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of ICW. “Local school districts play a critical role in ensuring that students are adequately prepared to enter the workforce, and the business community must do everything in its power to ensure that these systems are supported.”

Last year, Indiana’s teacher preparation standards were the best in the nation at aligning with state common core goals. Indiana’s academic programs are of high-quality, rigorous, and aimed toward preparing students for college and the workforce.

“We are confident that present reforms, including the new teacher evaluation system and merit pay, scholarship funds for low-income students and lifting a cap on the number of charter schools will lead to better educational opportunities for Indiana families,” said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “We’re calling on businesses to join us in working toward closing the achievement gap.”

The tour will also stop in Birmingham, Ala., Jefferson City, Mo., San Diego, Calif., Tacoma, Wash., and Trenton, N.J. with more locations to be announced.

Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity is supported by a grant from the Daniels Fund, a Colorado-based foundation established by Bill Daniels, a cable television pioneer known for his generous support of innovative causes.

To learn more, visit: www.breakthemonopoly.com

Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #breakthemonopoly

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy and information organization, representing nearly 5,000 member companies that employ 800,000 Hoosier workers.

The Daniels Fund provides college scholarships to deserving students, and grants to outstanding nonprofit organizations. Visit www.DanielsFund.org  for more information.

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promoting the rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems needed to preserve the strength of America’s greatest economic resource, its workforce.

The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. We provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow’s challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

www.uschamber.com            @USChamber            www.freeenterprise.com