President's Message

Author: Paul J. Luna, President and CEO

February 24, 2014

In Arizona, the legislative session is in full swing, and in Florida, it will begin soon.  Undoubtedly, the debate about the implementation of the Florida Standards and Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards and aligned assessments will be a key topic of discussion for our policymakers.   While we have made great strides in moving toward successful implementation of the Standards in both states, we are also facing significant challenges in holding firm to the commitment to higher, more rigorous standards for our students.   We have no time to waste.  The students sitting in classrooms today must be prepared for the 21st-century global economy.  

That’s why Helios continues to be unequivocally committed to the preservation and successful implementation of the Standards in both Arizona and Florida.  The fact is that we must raise the academic bar so that our students can bring high-level analytical and critical-thinking skills to the global workplace.  It’s not only imperative for individual preparedness and success, but it’s critical for both states’ economies, competitiveness and overall quality of life. 

Helios Education Foundation has championed and invested in education solutions that advance academic preparedness and foster college-going cultures for all students for nearly a decade.  Through our partnerships, we are helping to create rigorous, high expectations academic environments.  We believe in the transformational power of  education  and the importance of creating college-going cultures that  change student trajectories, better preparing them for college and career.

Currently, Helios is championing the new standards and aligned assessments through partnerships nationally and in both Arizona and Florida.  Nationally, Helios is part of the Collaborative for Student Success, which is a grant-making initiative created with the pooled resources of a diverse group of regional and national education foundations deeply committed to improving public education.  The members of this collaborative share the belief that the successful implementation of the Standards is an important next step in ensuring that all students are prepared to succeed in school and life.

In Arizona, Helios is part of the Arizona Public Engagement Task Force which is an independently formed collaborative of more than 30 partner organizations who share the desire and commitment to ensure that all Arizona students are prepared for college, career and life.   Recently, the Arizona Public Engagement Task Force launched a new campaign called Arizona Aims Higher, with information and resources to champion the standards.  We encourage you to visit and sign up in support of helping every child get the education they deserve.     

In Florida, Helios is a key supporter of the statewide Learn More Go Further campaign which will employ strategic communications efforts, including a multi-media campaign to help parents and teachers understand the importance of the Standards and their role in supporting them.

Florida and Arizona must hold firm to their commitment, and Helios will continue to raise its voice in support of higher standards and rigorous, aligned assessments.  Student success must be our number one priority and these standards will help challenge and prepare our students for a successful  future. 

Category: Common Core

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