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W.Va. Site for National 21st Century Skills Conference

June 01, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ More than 100 policymakers, business and community leaders, as well as higher education and public school representatives from across the country will gather in West Virginia next week as the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the West Virginia Department of Education host a national educational conference.  

West Virginia was chosen to host the national conference largely because of its efforts to bring 21st Century Learning to classrooms statewide. The two-day event will take place Monday and Tuesday at Embassy Suites in Charleston, beginning at 2 p.m. on Monday.  

“We are honored to be chosen to host this event because it will play a significant role in how we educate our young people in the future,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “This conference is an important step as West Virginia and other states change not only what we teach but how we teach.”  

In 2005, West Virginia became the second state in the nation to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, which marries business interests with classroom instruction. The partnership has 26 members, including Adobe Systems Inc., Apple, Cisco Systems, Dell Inc., Ford Motor Co., Microsoft and Time Warner, among others.  

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has emerged as the leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education and encourages schools, districts and states to advocate for the infusion of 21st century skills into education and provides tools and resources to help facilitate and drive change.  

“Successful state-level 21st century skills’ initiatives are grounded in standards that incorporate learning skills into content standards,” said Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “West Virginia has taken a bold step forward in building a 21st century education system.”  

Since joining the partnership, West Virginia has worked to add rigor to its educational system and incorporate 21st century skills, including learning and thinking skills; information and communications skills; technology skills; and work place productivity skills.  

“Students must be able to comprehend, problem solve and communicate solutions if they are expected to compete globally,” Paine said. “Our 21st Century Learning initiative provides a system-wide approach that will provide our graduates with the intellectual capital to compete in an interconnected world.”  

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.

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