Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Federal Education Law and ‘21st-Century Skills’

November 14, 2006 1 min read

To the Editor:

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is encouraged that other members of the business community are as committed as we to ensuring that the reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind Act includes metrics to prepare U.S. students for citizenship, work, and postsecondary education in our increasingly competitive and global society. (“Big Business Going to Bat for NCLB,” Oct. 18, 2006).

But your article’s characterization of the partnership’s advocacy for a new layer of state testing in the law’s reauthorization misrepresents our vision for 21st-century learning. We don’t advocate more testing; we want to improve our existing tests to assess the presence of 21st-century skills throughout all content areas.

In international benchmarking tests, U.S. students perform substantially worse than students across the globe when important 21st-century skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving are added to the assessments. Our international competitors understand the key role that their education systems play in producing workers who are prepared for the demands of the modern economy. The United States is now in a race to catch up.

America must ensure that its educational standards are tough enough to equip our students with the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global society. This is the conversation education, business, and public-policy stakeholders must have as we work to improve the No Child Left Behind Act. Otherwise, we risk relegating the U.S. workforce to second-class status.

Ken Kay

President

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Tucson, Ariz.

A version of this article appeared in the November 15, 2006 edition of Education Week as Federal Education Law And ‘21st-Century Skills’

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Special Education Teachers
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read