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Mark Grier, Prudential Financial vice chairman and NJ Chamber board member Mark Grier, Prudential Financial vice chairman and NJ Chamber board member(Scott Goldstein | NJ Chamber) Mark B. Grier, vice chairman with Prudential Financial and NJ Chamber board member, today spoke in support of Common Core State Standards and the controversial PARCC Statewide Exams that were implemented in the state’s schools this year. Grier said the standards will help students emerge from high school better prepared for college and careers, and will give New Jersey a more skilled workforce.

“We love to keep score,” Grier said. “In Little League baseball, we discuss win-loss records and batting averages. With cars, we discuss miles per gallon and how many miles a tire lasts. With social media, we count how many times a message is retweeted.  Keeping score is what we do.”

“How about being able to say every third grader in my school can read?” he added. “Or every third grader in my district can read? Or every third grader in the state can read? If we can tap in to the compulsion to keep score, we would be off to the races.”

Grier’s statements came during a forum on April 20 sponsored by “We Raise NJ,” a coalition of wide-ranging groups including the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey School Boards Association, the New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Council of Community Colleges, and the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Grier said:  “We (must) be clear about standards, clear about expectations. This is how we tell students what they need to do to achieve what’s next. The point of assessments is to support development. It’s not a ‘gotcha.’”