Governor Announces National Partnership To Focus On 21st Century Skills For Students

November 14, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. - West Virginia today gained a significant ally in its mission to be a national model for 21st century education. Governor Joe Manchin and First Lady Gayle Manchin announced a joint effort with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills to provide a powerful statewide vision to ensure every child in West Virginia succeeds as a citizen, worker and leader in the 21st century.  

West Virginia is the second state to implement the Partnership's 21st century model for teaching and learning. The Partnership's framework emphasizes information and communications technology literacy, critical thinking, communication skills, global awareness, and business, economic and civic literacy.  

"I am so proud of West Virginia for being chosen to lead the nation as we embrace 21st century learning skills," said Manchin. "I believe that 21st century education will strengthen what our educators are teaching in classrooms across the state. Accelerating technological change, rapidly accumulating knowledge, increasing global competition and rising workforce requirements make 21st century skills essential for success in the new millennium."  

As nations move to foster 21st century skills development within their educational systems, the United States faces a critical challenge to keep pace in preparing students to meet the demands of a global community and tomorrow's workforce.  

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills brings together the business community, education leaders and policymakers to define a powerful vision for 21st century education to ensure every child's success as citizens and workers in the 21st century.  

"We applaud Governor Manchin and State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine for taking a leadership role in fostering student success in the global economy," said Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. "We look forward to providing resources and expertise to help define West Virginia as a national leader in 21st century skills learning."  

In a strong show of support, the West Virginia Board of Education, the Department of Education, higher education, teacher unions, business leaders, other state agencies and educators joined the Governor and the First Lady during the announcement at the Fall School System Leadership Team Conference.  

"We have focused a great deal on equity in education as part of No Child Left Behind," said State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. "Along with that, we must focus on ensuring that our children are prepared for tomorrow. We are responsible for producing students that can read and write but these students also must be able to analyze data, solve problems and communicate effectively."  

The Partnership for 21st Century skills is comprised of 26 member organizations including Adobe Systems Incorporated, Agilent Technologies Foundation, American Association of School Librarians, American Federation of Teachers, Apple, Bell South Foundation, Cable in the Classroom, Cisco Systems, Inc., Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Dell Inc., ETS, Ford Motor Company Fund, Intel Corporation, JA Worldwide, LeapFrog SchoolHouse, McGraw-Hill Education, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, Oracle Corporation, Pearson Education, SAP, SAS, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Thomson Gale, Time Warner, Inc. and Verizon. More information on the Partnership can be found at

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