NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Education Commissioner John King Jr. is urging New York’s business and community leaders to support the Common Core curriculum standards.

King spoke on the issue Wednesday at an Association for a Better New York forum.

The Common Core Learning Standards have been adopted by most states. They emphasize critical thinking, reading comprehension and writing.

The new standards were first pushed by governors concerned about the large number of high school graduates needing remedial college help and lacking basic skills.

Just five years ago, New York labeled 80 percent of high school graduates proficient, but the bulk were landing in remedial courses in college, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported. Common Core was touted as a fix to the problem.

There are lessons to be learned from districts that are pulling ahead, King said.

“They’re watching video of their own classrooms, of model classrooms to get better,” King told Murnane. “They’re looking at student work together. Many of the districts that are having great success, they’ve identified teacher leaders who are mentoring their colleagues.”

According to King, business groups have a vested interest in developing a career-ready workforce, Murnane reported. Districts that do well have robust and ongoing development programs, King said.

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