Aids policymakers in understanding and defining the principles behind fusing core subject knowledge and higher-order thinking skills to enhance students’ college and career readiness.
“Americans are competing in a global economy that demands workforce innovation… [E]ducation policies must help all students keep up with these demands. There is a growing achievement gap between U.S. students and their international peers. Our economic competitiveness suffers when our students do not possess the knowledge of core subjects and the critical skills necessary for college and career readiness in the innovation economy of the 21st century…For students to succeed in college and careers, they must be able to learn, apply and adapt in all subjects. The Partnerships for 21st Century Skills (P21) believes that 21st century readiness is within reach of every student if our schools incorporate essential, higher-order thinking skills into all core subjects. These skills include: critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, [and] creativity and innovation” (p. 2). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Adopting the ‘higher and clearer,’ more focused Common Core State Standards will allow schools more flexibility to get to better student learning outcomes. All state standards should include essential, higher-order thinking skills. It is a national imperative that our standards, assessments, and accountability systems and supports be benchmarked against this expanded definition” (p. 6). • “Pre-service education for educators must be redesigned to include more clinical experience in classrooms, guided by mentor educators who support emphasis on deeper learning” (p.8). • “The public debate about the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and related education legislation presents a tremendous opportunity for policymakers to support 21st century readiness for every student. There is widespread public support and a strong research base for preparing students with the essential knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a competitive, interconnected world” (p. 10). (Abstractor: Author)