The Partnership's Statement on President Barack Obama's Education Plan
TUCSON, AZ - March 12, 2009 - The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is hopeful that President Barack Obama's new education plan will guarantee every child in America graduates high school with the 21st century knowledge and skills required to be successful citizens, workers and leaders in today's world. The Partnership applauds President Obama for his vision to create standards and assessments that ensure students have rich content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge, problem solve, and communicate.
President Obama said:
In a 21st-century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there's an Internet connection, where a child born in Dallas is now competing with a child in New Delhi, where your best job qualification is not what you do, but what you know -- education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity and success, it's a prerequisite for success.
I would change it to say:
In a 21st-century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there's an Internet connection, where a child born in Dallas is now competing with a child in New Delhi, where your best job qualification is not what you know, but what you know how to find out (we shouldn’t be training students to be knowledge workers anymore, we need to train them to be creators) – current educational practices are no longer a pathway to opportunity and success, it needs to be changed to a creative, thinking/learning model to be a prerequisite for success."
In addition, President Obama noted that (and I added in bold):
"I'm calling on our nation's governors and state education chiefs to develop standards and assessments that don't simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess or know how to go about possessing 21st century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking and entrepreneurship and creativity."
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills looks forward to working with the Obama White House, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and the whole U.S. Department of Education to help make this vision a reality.
The transcript of the speech is available online, as is video of the news conference.
About the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: The Partnership or 21st Century Skills is 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.
21st Century Skills Leadership States include: Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Member organizations include: Adobe Systems, Inc., American Association of School Librarians, Apple, ASCD, Atomic Learning, Blackboard, Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cisco Systems, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Davis Publications, Dell, Inc., Education Networks of America, Educational Testing Service, EF Education, Ford Motor Company Fund, Gale, Cengage Learning, Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, JA Worldwide®, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, K12, Learning.com, Learning Point Associates, LEGO Group, Lenovo, Measured Progress, McGraw-Hill, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, Oracle Education Foundation, Pearson, PolyVision, Quarasan, Scholastic Education, Sesame Workshop, THINKronize, Verizon, and Wireless Generation. Organizations interested in joining the Partnership may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.