Wisconsin Launches Education Initiative to Bring 21st Century Skills to Every School Student

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the nation’s leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education, today announced a joint partnership with the state of Wisconsin to bring 21st century teaching and learning skills to every school system in the state.

Wisconsin State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster announced that Wisconsin had joined the Partnership’s State Leadership Initiative during her keynote address at the annual Wisconsin State Education Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin citizens recognize that the single best investment we can make is in our children,” Burmaster said. “Educated children become educated adults, who participate in the social, economic and civic life of their community. If our state is to be competitive, we must invest in our human capital and ensure that our students pursue rigorous study that prepares them for the 21st century.”

Accelerating technological change, rapidly accumulating knowledge, increasing global competition and rising workforce requirements make 21st century skills essential for every student’s success. The Partnership’s State Leadership Initiative is guided by its Framework for 21st Century Learning, which builds upon core subject expertise and emphasizes new 21st century competencies such as information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, global awareness and business, economic and civic literacy.

Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, commended Wisconsin for prioritizing the 21st century learning outcomes its students need to become successful citizens and workers in our increasingly globally interconnected society.

“Wisconsin is a national leader in the teaching of global awareness,” Kay said. “We look forward to working with Wisconsin’s leaders in expanding their expertise in this area into all the critical areas of 21st century skills. Today’s students need to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators who are proficient in both core subjects and new 21st century skills. The Partnership looks forward to working with the education, business and public policy leaders in the state to define a powerful vision for 21st century education.”

Partnership Vice Chair John Box, who also serves as vice president of product development at JA Worldwide(TM) spent 34 years as a Wisconsin public school educator, 14 of which were devoted to serving as superintendent of three school districts.

“Being progressive is a hallmark of public education in Wisconsin, so it’s very exciting to see the state become the third in the nation to adopt a 21st century skills initiative,” Box said. “The Partnership’s Framework for 21st Century Learning will add value to the positive work that’s been accomplished to date and will provide a structure to focus our joint work moving forward.”

Wisconsin joins North Carolina and West Virginia, the first two states in the nation to implement the Partnership’s framework.

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: Adobe Systems Incorporated, American Association of School Librarians, Apple, BellSouth Foundation, Cable in the Classroom, Cisco Systems, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Dell Incorporated, Discovery Education, Education Networks of America, EF Education, ETS, Ford Motor Company Fund, Intel Corporation, JA Worldwide(TM), LeapFrog SchoolHouse, McGraw-Hill Education, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, Oracle Education Foundation, Pearson Education, PolyVision, Riverdeep Incorporated, SAP, SAS, Texas Instruments, Thomson Gale, and Verizon.

For more information, please go to http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/.