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The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and P21 Release Paper on 21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation

WASHINGTON and TUCSON, Ariz. – September 23, 2010 – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and P21 today released a paper to establish a shared vision around 21st century knowledge and skills in educator preparation and spark meaningful dialogue among higher education leaders about implementing this vision in educator preparation programs.

As noted in the paper, 21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation, AACTE, a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of educators and school leaders, and P21, the leading national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student, believe that educator preparation programs need to recognize new opportunities and make improvements required to respond to the needs of 21st century learners.

“Today is an exciting and challenging time for those who prepare the educators of tomorrow,” said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “In order to meet the demands of the profession, AACTE is leading efforts to help its member institutions more effectively embed 21st century knowledge and skills into their programs so new teacher candidates are properly prepared to integrate them into their classroom practice.”

“One of the main goals of the paper was to outline how educator preparation programs can support 21st century educators and students,” said Julie Walker, P21 executive board and strategic council chair and executive director of the American Association of School Librarians. “It is incredibly important for preparation programs to go beyond the ‘transmission method’ of teaching and instead offer educator candidates experiences that help them develop rich, applied learning opportunities that will ensure 21st century readiness for all students.”

Finally, the paper recognizes educator preparation programs play a vital role in developing leaders who understand and can influence assessment, particularly around 21st century knowledge and skills. Consequently, preparation programs should serve as a research and evaluation test bed for innovative approaches to student measurement; integrate 21st century knowledge and skills assessment strategies as key components of the program’s curriculum and assessments; and ensure graduates can demonstrate mastery of a wide range of P-12 student assessment methods to evaluate student proficiency in academic subject knowledge and skills.

“P21 is excited about the report’s potential for generating conversations among colleges of education on the role they can play in assuring the next generation of educators are ready for the challenges of the 21st century,” said Ken Kay, president, P21. “We are hopeful that this report will start a robust dialogue on how colleges of education can proactively move 21st century education forward across the country.”

The 21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation paper is available at and The paper was sponsored by Blackboard, ETS, Intel, Microsoft, National Education Association and Pearson – all of which are P21 strategic council members.

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Lisa Johnson | 202-478-4502 |
Karen Frey | 773-818-0498 |

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE’s reach and influence fuels its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information on AACTE, visit

About the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: 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 include: Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Member organizations include: Adobe Systems, Inc., American Association of School Librarians, Apple,  Blackboard, Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cengage Learning, Crayola, Cisco Systems, Inc., Dell, Inc., EF Education, Education Networks of America, Educational Testing Service, Hewlett Packard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Intel Corporation, JA Worldwide, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, LEGO Group, Lenovo, Learning Point Associates, McGraw-Hill, Measured Progress, MHz Networks, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, National Academy Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, netTrekker, Oracle Education Foundation, Pearson, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, Quarasan!, Scholastic Education, Sesame Workshop, The Walt Disney Company, and Verizon. Organizations or states interested in joining the Partnership may contact