Achieve is an independent, bipartisan nonprofit education reform organization that helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments and strengthen accountability in order to prepare all young people for college, career and citizenship. Founded at the 1996 National Education Summit; Achieve is comprised of governors and business leaders.
Since its inception, Achieve has helped more than 40 states strengthen the rigor, clarity, focus and coherence of state standards, thereby helping make them more manageable in the classroom. Their signature program has been the American Diploma Project, a research and development project that worked with post-secondary faculty and employers in five states to identify the math and literacy skills essential for success in post-secondary education and training programs. The American Diploma Project Network now includes 35 states that educate nearly 90% of the public school students in the U.S.; each of these states is committed to aligning high school standards, assessments and requirements for high school graduation with the skill demands of college and careers.
This work is guided by the recognition that nearly two-thirds of jobs will require some post-secondary training or education beyond high school, in career training programs that leads to industry-recognized credential, or two- or four-year colleges and graduate programs. It is also guided by the principle that all young people need to become “career ready” -- including but not only those who enroll in 4-year colleges -- and that their K-12 education should equip them with a core set of skills that will enable them to pursue the career of their choice, and the education and training pathways needed to reach their career goals. It is anchored in research that indicates that there is a core set of literacy and mathematics skills that high school graduates must develop in order to succeed in any post-secondary education or training program.
More recently, Achieve worked closely with the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to support the development of the Common Core State Standards, and was selected by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment consortium of states to be its project management partner. Achieve has also helped a network of 26 states develop Next Generation Science Standards.
-Testimony of Michael Cohen, President of Achieve
Michigan House of Representatives Subcommittee on Common Core State Standards
July 16, 2013