Tennessee law enforcement members of FIGHT CRIME: INVEST IN KIDS, a national anti-crime organization of over 5,000 law enforcement leaders, with 145 members in Tennessee, are urging the continued implementation of Tennessee’s Common Core Standards to help reduce future crime.
Police chiefs from across the state held a news conference Wednesday at Meadow View Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center. They released a report, Helping Students Succeed Cuts Crime, that highlights the connection between crime and whether young men are employable at decent wages. Research shows that changes in employment opportunities and wages among non-college educated men may explain as much as half of property and violent crime rates.
“Tennessee students need an education that prepares them for postsecondary education and the workforce so they will be less likely to turn to a life of crime,” said Johnson City Chief of Police Mark Sirois.
As noted in the report, more than 75 percent of Tennessee’s jobs, including many in manufacturing, require some form of post-secondary education – a trend that is expected to continue. Yet, only 24 percent of 8th graders in the state are proficient in math and only 27 percent are proficient in reading. Law enforcement leaders stressed that Tennessee students need an education that prepares them for the future and reduces the likelihood they will turn to a life of crime.
“There’s no disputing that problems in school lead to problems with crime,” added District Attorney General Randall E. Nichols. "Almost seven out of ten inmates in state prisons around the nation failed to graduate from high school. We need to do everything possible to prepare kids for jobs that will make them personally successful.
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The CCSS establish a rigorous set of standards for what students should learn in English language arts and mathematics to be prepared for higher education and for entry into the workforce. The standards are critical to success in today’s economy, which requires workers to have mastered core academic content, and be able to think critically, solve problems and communicate effectively.
Tennessee was among the initial group of 12 states that led the development of the Common Core State Standards, which have been voluntarily adopted by a total of 45 states and the District of Columbia. Tennessee is also a member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of the two primary groups of states developing assessments based on the Common Core State Standards. The assessments will allow educators to determine how students are doing and to use this information to improve education.
“Just as police departments disseminate and replicate successful approaches to reducing crime by figuring out what is working locally, and then sharing that with others, the Common Core State Standards allow public schools to share best practices and lessons learned by looking at how students are doing in school and using this information to improve education,” said Murfreesboro Chief of Police, Glenn Chrisman, who is also President of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.