Working with Bicameral & Bipartisan Effort to Prepare Students for 21st Century Economy

(WASHINGTON, DC) February 12, 2013 – The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), the leading organization advocating for 21st century readiness for every student, applauds U.S. Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) for their continued commitment to advancing the 21st Century Readiness Acts in the new 113th Congress and today asked for support of that legislation from other leaders in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Reintroduced on January 22, 2013, the 21st Century Readiness Act (H.R. 347) sponsored by Rep. Petri, Rep. Loebsack, and seven other Members of Congress in the U.S. House, serves as an important bipartisan catalyst for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) currently under consideration by Congress, and strengthens support in both chambers of 21st century education efforts underway in many states and districts throughout the United States. Sen. Hagan will soon reintroduce the 21st Century Readiness Act in the U.S. Senate.

The Acts are identical to bills originally introduced in the 112th Congress and aligned with many of P21’s principles and recommendations for reauthorizing the ESEA. They amend current federal law to allow states and districts to utilize existing federal grants under various titles of ESEA to develop, enhance, or expand 21st century skills as well as college and career readiness plans, including school reform and dropout prevention plans. They help to ensure that states and school districts are able to provide high-quality and relevant standards, assessments, and professional development programs that are infused with the content and skills necessary for success in the college, careers, and citizenship.

“Employers I meet with continually emphasize that, in our 21st century economy, students need skills that go beyond the basics of reading, writing, and math,” shared Rep. Petri (R-WI). “States and schools should have the flexibility to use existing grant money to promote skills that will make their students successful in a modern economy.”

“Today’s students will need more than the basics to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce” agreed Rep. Loebsack (D-IA), “We need to provide them with an education that will make them competitive in 21st century careers, which means they need skills like creative problem-solving, the ability to communicate well, and to collaborate in diverse teams. This bill makes these skills an explicit aim of federal education policy, which allows states like Iowa to continue with and expand on their leadership in 21st century education.”

“It is clear, now more than ever, that our future success as a nation depends on making sure that our students are well educated and prepared to compete in our increasingly global economy. As we work to improve our education system, the 21st Century Readiness Act takes us a step closer to accomplishing that goal”, stated Sen. Hagan (D-NC).

“This act will ensure that these important skills are enumerated in federal education policy, and reflect the hard work of the eighteen states and many local school districts throughout the country that already share a vision for student outcomes and success based on identifying and delivering what students need to be effective workers and citizens in the 21st century global economy,” echoed Steve Paine, President of P21.

P21 looks forward to continuing to work with federal, state and local policymakers and stakeholders to help make this vision a reality. It strongly endorses this vital bicameral and bipartisan effort and urges its support, cosponsorship and adoption by Congress and the President.

Read the P21 Policy Recommendations for the Reauthorization of ESEA

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: Apple Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cengage Learning, Cisco Systems, Inc., The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP), Common Sense Media, Crayola, EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Follett, Ford Motor Company Fund, Goddard Systems Inc., Intel Corporation, JP – Inspiring Knowledge, LEGO Education, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, Pearson Foundation, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, VIF International Education, The Walt Disney Company, and Wireless Generation.

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

P21 Federal Policy contact: Alan Knapp ( 202-312-6428)
P21 Media contact: Tatyana Warrick ( / 202-312-6430)

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