For Immediate Release - June 08, 2007

Governor Patrick Announces Commonwealth's Acceptance in Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Massachusetts a Leadership State in a national network committed to preparing students for life, work and citizenship

BOSTON-Friday, June 8, 2007-Just days after outlining a bold vision for the future of public education in the Commonwealth, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been accepted as a leadership state in the Partnership for 21 st Century Skills. The Partnership, a national network of states backed by 30 leading businesses and organizations, is working to ensure that every child masters content standards as well as the skills and competencies needed to be engaged and productive citizens and employees in an increasingly competitive global society.

"Throughout its history, the Commonwealth has been a leader in education," said Governor Patrick. "But our world is changing and so we, too, must change in order to ensure our place at the top for the next generation. The vision our administration has laid out will guarantee that Massachusetts students graduate with the tools to allow them to compete not just on the national stage, but with their peers across the globe."

On June 1, Governor Patrick called for a comprehensive, child-centered public education system that begins before kindergarten, continues through grade 12 and higher education, and extends to work force development and lifelong learning. The vision provides a clear platform for policy and practice developments that will deliver the best education to all students and that will enable our state be competitive in the 21st century.

"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," said Ken Kay, President of the Partnership for 21 st Century Skills. "It's essential that state educators, business leaders and policymakers work together to develop the 21st century learning outcomes that matter most to their local communities and employers. The members of the Partnership are committed to supporting their efforts to ensure that U.S. students remain competitive internationally."

"These new skills can all be easily incorporated into our current frameworks, and represent precisely the right direction for our public schools," said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "I am very pleased that the Commonwealth has entered into this important partnership."

As a Leadership State, Massachusetts joins North Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin at the leading edge of states committed to building a state-wide agenda, coalition and implementation plan to ensure that all students are ready for life, work and citizenship in the 21 st Century.

"By focusing attention at the highest levels on the need to ready students to succeed in the 21 st Century, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is once again demonstrating its commitment to lead the way in public education," said Charles Fadel, Global Lead for Education at Cisco Systems, and co-chair of the Standards, Assessments and Professional Development committee of the Partnership for 21 st Century Skills. "As a society, we are increasingly aware that success today rests not just with what you know, but how you use that information to get work done, solve problems, or create new knowledge. If we are to help students succeed in a 21st-century economy and society, we must find ways to deliver and then measure their ability to apply knowledge to complex and challenging tasks, and to behave in other ways that predict successful engagement in the world as it is now."

Members of the Partnership for 21 st Century Skills include Adobe Systems, Inc.; Apple; AT&T; Blackboard, Inc.; Cable in the Classroom; Cisco Systems; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Davis Publications; Dell, Inc.; Discovery Education; EF Education; Education; Networks of America; Education Testing Service; Ford Motor Company Fund; Intel Foundation; JA Worldwide; LeapFrog SchoolHouse; McGraw-Hill Education; Microsoft Corporation; National Education Association; Oracle Education Foundation; Pearson Education; PolyVision; SAP; SAS Institute; Texas Instruments; THINKronize; Thomson Gale; and Verizon.

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