WASHINGTON, July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) today officially welcomed four organizations to its national membership: The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP®), EdLeader21, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Goddard Systems, Inc.
These organizations bring additional expertise and diversity to P21's broad membership coalition. "The decision of these leading organizations to join P21 as members demonstrates their ongoing leadership and commitment to 21st century education, and the growing recognition of the importance of 21st century readiness," said Julie Walker, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and chair of P21.
The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP) enables academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school, providing them with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both. AP is accepted by more than 3,800 colleges, and last year more than 1.8 million students participated in the AP Program. "The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has been a guiding light for the AP Program as we have thought about the knowledge and skills the AP Program should consciously strive to promote," said College Board Vice President Trevor Packer, who oversees the Advanced Placement Program. "We are thrilled to formally join this partnership as we roll out a major redesign of the AP science and history programs focused on 21st century knowledge and skills."
"P21 has been a real leader in advancing 21st century education policy, and the EdLeader21 team is thrilled to become a member," stated Alyson Nielson, the COO of EdLeader21. "Our professional learning community of 21st century education leaders is working to integrate the 4C's – critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration – into today's districts, schools and classrooms. The policy framework of P21 provides helpful and relevant support to the work of our 60 districts, schools and organizations. We look forward to continuing our collective efforts to move 21st century education forward."
"Ford is proud to work closely with communities and organizations such as Partnership for 21st Century Skills which share our commitment to innovation in education," said Mike Schmidt, director of education, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "For example, our Ford PAS Next Generation Learning program engages communities all across the country to promote inquiry-based and team-focused learning within public high schools. Ford also provides millions of dollars nationally for college scholarships and university grants."
"The Goddard School's active, play-based learning philosophy helps children acquire creative and problem-solving abilities, encourages them to work cooperatively and builds their self-confidence. These are all skills that P21 agrees are essential to prepare children for future success in our global economy. We are proud to be the first preschool organization joining P21," states Dzana Homan, chief operating officer for Goddard Systems, Inc. GSI was recently named #1 childcare franchise in the United States, by Entrepreneur magazine for the tenth consecutive year, and currently licenses 370+ franchised schools with more than 45,000 students in 37 states.
Each member organization has appointed the following representative to serve on the Partnership's strategic council: Tom Matts, senior director of assessments for Advanced Placement at the College Board; Alyson Neilson, chief operating officer, EdLeader21; Mike Schmidt, director of education and community development, Ford Motor Company Fund; and Dzana Homan, chief operating officer of Goddard Systems.
P21 maintains that students need to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators who excel in both core subjects and 21st century skills in order to be prepared for college and ready to meet the challenges of today's economy. Achieving this goal requires 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 strength of the Partnership has always been in the diversity of its members," affirmed Tim Magner, P21 executive director. "Each of these organizations brings a unique perspective to the Partnership further enhancing the conversations that are necessary to transform teaching and learning in the 21st century."
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 three Rs and four Cs (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.
21st Century Skills Leadership States: Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Member organizations: Adobe Systems, Inc., American Association of School Librarians, Apple Inc., Blackboard, Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cengage Learning, Cisco Systems, Inc., The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP), Crayola, Dell, Inc., EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, ETS, Ford Motor Company Fund, Global Scholar, Goddard Systems, Inc., Hewlett Packard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Intel Corporation, JA Worldwide, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Learning Point Associates, LEGO Group, McGraw-Hill, Measured Progress, MHZ Networks, Microsoft Corporation, National Academy Foundation, National Education Association, netTrekker, Oracle Education Foundation, Pearson, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, and Verizon.
Organizations and states interested in joining P21 may contact Kevin Wesolowski ([email protected])
SOURCE Partnership for 21st Century Skills