Partnership for 21st Century Skills Adds 3 States to Membership


The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has added three more states to its membership. The group announced Tuesday that Illinois, Louisiana, and Nevada have joined the organization, bringing the total state membership to 13.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a coalition of business and education groups focused on technology education and the integration of technology into education. The group provides the Framework for 21st Century Learning, a roadmap for education centered around technology and skills-focused learning. It also provides information and tools for educators for boosting 21st century learning in K-12 through its Route 21 site. States that choose to join the initiative do so through the State Leadership Initiative, which is focused on statewide programs to change classroom learning to address the demands of the 21st century.

In joining the group, representatives from the three states cited their desire to connecting education to workforce needs and bolstering the academic and skill achievement of students as some of the reasons for committing to the Framework for 21st Century Learning--a commitment that includes both supporting the Framework and helping to develop it.

"Joining the Partnership reinforces Illinois' priority of preparing students to become productive citizens in today's world," said Illinois State Superintendent Christopher Koch, in a statement released today. "Our plan represents a shared responsibility among stakeholders to ensure they contribute to the vital role of creating an education system with high expectations for academic and skill achievement."

"We are committed and focused on connecting education to the workforce needs of our state, nation and world," said Louisiana State Superintendent Paul Pastorek. "If we concentrate on equipping our students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college, their career and today's knowledge-based economy, not only will they be able to compete with their peers around the world, but the economy of our state will benefit. We have high expectations for our students and our state, and we are looking forward to Louisiana's participation in the Partnership and the opportunity to work with other states."

"Nevada's citizens have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, which could make us a leader in innovative economic sectors. Still, our ability to maximize this potential requires an education system that prepares students for today's world," said Nevada State Superintendent Keith Rheault. "Becoming a partner state supports Nevada's commitment to educational improvement and our goal of a sharper focus on 21st century skills."

Indiana, Louisiana, and Nevada will receive "expertise, technical assistance and resources offered by the Partnership, including opportunities for collaboration with other states and organizations that share a similar vision for educational excellence, workforce competitiveness and economic innovation," according to information released by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

The complete list of 21st Century Skills Leadership States now includes Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

In related news, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills announced that it's awarding the 21st Century Skills Practice of the Year Award to seven states: Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

"These states have performed an invaluable service by creating national models to guide other states in establishing 21st century learning policies and practices," said Paige Johnson, chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and worldwide manager of K-12 education at Intel, in a statement released today. "These awards highlight best practices for states as they build world-class education systems to ensure their students graduate with the knowledge and skills required of effective citizens, workers and leaders."

Further information about the State Leadership Initiative can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .