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Press Release: PISA Results Reaffirm Need for Assessment of the 4Cs

Washington, DC– December 5, 2013 – With the recent release of the 2012 PISA results, P21, the leading national organization advocating for 21st century readiness for all students, reaffirms its support for and assessment of 21st century skills.

According to the OECD, more than 510,000 students in 65 economies took part in the latest PISA test, with a focus on math, and including reading and science. PISA results reveal what is possible in education by showing what 15 year-old students in the highest-performing and rapidly improving education systems can do.

PISA is currently the best large-scale assessment for measuring cross-curricular competencies which form the cornerstone of the P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning. The 4Cs of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity are key to student success in college, career, and citizenship.

The latest results once again place U.S. students below average to average in international rankings for math, reading, and science, and highlight the need for real-world problem solving preparation U.S. students receive.

As many education experts have noted, the lack of widely-used 21st century assessments creates an accountability gap which must be addressed if we as a nation are serious about preparing students for success. We need other assessments that look beyond what students know and authentically assess students’ ability to apply knowledge.

Preparing for next level assessments also means we need to infuse 21st century skills with high level content into all education systems. Ensuring that 21st century learning supports are created within curriculum, instruction, professional development and assessment will mean that our students will be better prepared for the next-level assessments in the future.

We applaud the OECD for including collaborative problem solving as part of the 2015 PISA test, and for seeking innovative ways to assess students the world over. The PISA results highlight that these rankings are an international competitive issue, not just for test scores, which alone are not enough to signal student mastery, but for what these scores represent as part of overall student preparation for college, career and citizenship.

P21 reaffirms our commitment to the 4Cs and to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century global economy, colleges, and citizenship. We are dedicated to working with P21’s broad coalition of business, education, and nonprofits to provide 21st century accountability, research, and advocacy to support 21st century learning for all students.

About P21: P21 is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the 3Rs and 4Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation). While leading districts and schools are already doing this, P21 advocates for local, state and federal policies that support this approach for every school.

P21 Members: Amplify, Apple Inc., Bahcesehir K-12 Schools, Cable in the Classroom, The College Board, Common Sense Media, Crayola, Destination Imagination, EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Ford Motor Company Fund, Gale Cengage Learning, Goddard Systems Inc., Intel Corporation, JP – Inspiring Knowledge, Learning.com, LEGO Education, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, PBS, Pearson Foundation, People to People Ambassador Programs, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, VIF International Education, and The Walt Disney Company.

P21 Leadership States: Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

P21 Media Contact: Tatyana Warrick, Tatyana@P21.org/ (202) 312-6430

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