State Joins Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Washington, DC & Oklahoma City, OK – June 25, 2013 – The State of Oklahoma has joined the P21 State Leadership Initiative, working in concert with 18 states committed to advancing the readiness of students for college, career, and citizenship utilizing the Framework for 21st Century Learning developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21).

Nearly 19 million students in the United States are represented by the 19 states of the P21 State Leadership Initiative. Together, they are at the forefront of connecting standards and practices for 21st century education to prepare students to graduate ready for the challenges of an interconnected global workforce.

“Oklahoma’s membership with P21 aligns perfectly with our goal of preparing a skilled workforce to compete in the global marketplace,” said Dr. Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma Secretary of Science & Technology. “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.”

“By joining the P21 Initiative, Oklahoma is declaring that human talent is our most precious and sustainable resource,” added Don Betz, chairman of Creative Oklahoma and president of the University of Central Oklahoma. “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.”

In becoming a P21 State, Oklahoma has committed to several statewide initiatives, including the development of the Oklahoma Innovation Index, to encourage, assess, and reward creativity within the classroom. Additionally, the development of a state-wide professional development network will engage a comprehensive effort to train teachers for the 21st century classroom.

Oklahoma education leaders will be able to share in the expertise of the other P21 leadership states, while working with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma State Board of Education, and a broad range of public and private institutions in supporting a statewide 21st century learning initiative, including Oklahoma A+ Schools, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, as well as local businesses and universities to foster 21st century teaching and learning. Creative Oklahoma is spearheading the state partnership with P21.

“Oklahoma’s commitment to fostering creativity at the heart of a state education strategy is an excellent example of this state’s leadership in 21st century education,” said Dr. Steve Paine, President of P21. “We are excited to work with Oklahoma and all our states, as well as local educators, business leaders, parents and community members working to transform our schools to meet the demands of the 21st century.”

Jean Hendrickson, Executive Director of Oklahoma A+ Schools added: “I applaud our state for taking a leadership role in demanding the best for our students. Innovative schools don’t happen without deliberate attention to the skills and abilities advanced by P21. I look forward to the day when every child who leaves our high schools is college, career, and citizen-ready.”


About Creative Oklahoma: Creative Oklahoma is a statewide non-profit organization advancing Oklahoma’s creative economy through creativity and innovation based initiatives in education, commerce and culture. The mission is to transform the state of Oklahoma through projects and collaborative ventures that help develop a more entrepreneurial and vibrant economy and an improved life quality for its citizens.

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, The College Board, Common Sense Media, Crayola, Destination Imagination, 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, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 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, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

P21 media contact: Tatyana Warrick ( / 202-312-6430)

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