Policy | News

Oklahoma Joins Partnership for 21st Century Skills

The state of Oklahoma has joined with 18 other states to become the latest member of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' State Leadership Initiative.

"Oklahoma's membership with P21 aligns perfectly with our goal of preparing a skilled workforce to compete in the global marketplace," said Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma secretary of science and technology, in a prepared statement. "Oklahoma and the nation need graduates prepared to take on the challenges of the future and we see P21 as a very important component in that effort."

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.

The framework focuses largely on student outcomes in 21st century learning areas, including life and career skills, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, technology and information/media literacy, and core academic subjects using 21st century themes. It also includes guidelines for the supports required for 21st century learning, including standards and assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and learning environments.

"By joining the P21 Initiative, Oklahoma is declaring that human talent is our most precious and sustainable resource," said Don Betz, chairman of Creative Oklahoma and president of the University of Central Oklahoma, also in a prepared statement. "Creative Oklahoma is dedicated to the creative development of our citizens as the sound basis for growing Oklahoma's future. The nourishing of that talent directly strengthens education, commerce and culture in our state."

The list of 21st Century Skills Leadership States now includes Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Those states represent about 20.8 million students, or roughly 38 percent of the K-12 student population of the United States.

Additional details about the P21 State Leadership Initiative can be found on Partnership for 21st Century Skills' site.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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