North Carolina Establishes the First State Initiative to Infuse 21st Century Skills Into Education
Public-Private Partnership Fosters Student Success in the Global Economy and Serves as National Model for 21st Century Education
RALEIGH, NC -- 04/21/2005 -- The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education, today announced a joint effort with Governor Mike Easley and the state of North Carolina to develop the first-ever Center for 21st Century Skills to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for success in the global economy. As the first state in the nation to implement the Partnership’s framework for 21st century education, North Carolina will help lead a nation-wide movement toward a new model for teaching and learning.
“We must continue to reform our public school system to meet the growing demands of the new global economy,” said Governor Easley. “The new Center for 21st Century Skills will ensure that students graduate from our educational institutions with the skills they need to compete and succeed in the workplace. I am proud that North Carolina is a national leader in education progress.”
Accelerating technological change, rapidly accumulating knowledge, increasing global competition and rising workforce requirements make 21st century skills essential for success in the new millennium. The Partnership’s framework for 21st century education emphasizes competencies such as information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, global awareness, and business, economic and civic literacy.
“Every child needs 21st century skills for success in learning and life. This initiative will better prepare students to leave school with skills and knowledge needed for the better paying, highly skilled jobs of the new economy,” said John Wilson, executive director of the National Education Association and vice chairman Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “North Carolina is the first state in the nation to implement the Partnership’s framework for 21st century education and we applaud Governor Easley for taking a leadership role in preparing students to succeed as citizens and workers in the 21st century.”
The Center is focused on better preparing students for the high-skilled jobs of the new economy by redesigning PreK-14 curriculum, updating educator training and providing improved student assessments in North Carolina. The Center’s research and strategies will serve as a national model for educators, policymakers and business leaders as they work to bring a powerful vision for 21st century education to their own schools, districts and states. The Center will collaborate with K-12 school systems, community colleges and teacher education institutions in the state to develop and pilot its programs.
“As a founding member of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Cisco Systems is fully committed to supporting the vision set forth today by Governor Easley to provide students in North Carolina with access to skills they will need now and in the future,” said Cisco Systems president and CEO John Chambers. “Economic prosperity will occur in those countries that do the best job of preparing their students with skills for work and responsible citizenship.”
The newly created Center for 21st Century Skills is a public-private partnership supported by North Carolina public schools, community colleges and universities, in addition to corporations and businesses, the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Funding for the Center will be solicited from both the public and private sector.
The North Carolina Center for 21st Century Skills is a significant outcome of the Partnership’s State Leadership Initiative, a collaborative project designed to help states build an agenda and implementation plan to support the development of a 21st century education environment. The Partnership is working with other key states to create a well-aligned education system where curriculum standards, assessments and classroom practice support the development of 21st century skills.
The State Leadership Initiative is guided by the Partnership’s framework for teaching and learning in the 21st century. As outlined in the Partnership’s report, Learning for the 21st Century, the framework emphasizes 21st century learning skills including analytic thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration, as well as critical subject matters such as global awareness, civic engagement and business, financial and economic literacy.
About the Partnership for 21st Century Skills
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has emerged as the leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education. The organization brings together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers to define a powerful vision for 21st century education to ensure every child’s success as citizens and workers in the 21st century. The Partnership encourages schools, districts and states to advocate for the infusion of 21st century skills into education and provides tools and resources to help facilitate and drive change.
Member organizations include: Agilent Technologies, American Association of School Librarians, American Federation of Teachers, Apple, Bell South Foundation, Cable in the Classroom, Cisco Systems, Inc., Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Dell Inc., ETS, Ford Motor Company Fund, Intel, JA Worldwide, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, Oracle Corporation, SAP, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Time Warner, Inc. and Verizon. Organizations interested in joining the Partnership may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Partnership’s website at www.21stcenturyskills.org.
Based in Washington, DC and Tucson, Arizona, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills is administered by Infotech Strategies. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 organization.
Editor’s Note: For more information from North Carolina Governor Mike Easley’s office, please visit www.governor.state.nc.us
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