News Article

Partnership for 21st Century Skills Issues Report, Online Tool Focused on Educational Assessments of 21st Century Skills

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

SAN ANTONIO - June 21, 2005 - The Partnership for the 21st Century Skills, a public-private advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education, today released a new report, The Assessment of 21st Century Skills: The Current Landscape, that highlights the importance of creating new education assessments that measure and inform the teaching of 21st century skills to help better prepare our students to meet the demands of the global community and tomorrow's workplace.

The report, research and written by the Center for Children and Technology on behalf of the Partnership, describes emerging progress in the U.S. and abroad to develop means to measure complex, higher-order thinking skills. The report also emphasizes the critical need for a national commitment to the assessment of 21st century skills in order to make U.S. education more globally competitive.

With spending on assessment development expected to reach $3.9 billion, according to recent Government Accounting Office estimates, it is vital that this investment focus not merely on fulfilling federal requirements, but on measuring the readiness of today's children to face the challenges of tomorrow's complex workplaces and communities.

The Assessment of 21st Century Skills: The Current Landscape is written for policy, education and business leaders who are focused on moving forward an agenda for 21st century learning. The report not only offers the current landscape of educational assessments that measure 21st century skills, it also defines key terms and concepts in the field of measurement, describes current activities in particular content and skill areas, highlights promising assessments in development, and outlines key principles and strategic recommendations for making these assessments a more prominent component of the U.S. educational system.

In conjunction with the report, the Partnership has released Assess 21, a Web-based repository for information on assessments of 21st century skills. The tool highlights assessments currently available, while emphasizing where particular gaps in the assessment of 21st century content and skill domains exist. Initially stocked with current assessments uncovered in the Partnership's research, this repository is designed to serve as a central hub for background information on 21st century skills assessments as they become available through submissions to the website. The online tool can be found at

The report and repository represent a critical first step toward realizing the Partnership's vision of creating a comprehensive agenda focused on educational assessments that measure 21st century skills.

The pre-publication report and online tool were formally announced at the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) 35thAnnual National Conference on Large-Scale Assessment, where the Partnership also delivered the keynote address and hosted a panel of experts on the subject of the assessment of 21st century skills.

About the Partnership for 21st Century Skills

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has emerged as the leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education. The organization 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. The Partnership 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.

About EDC's Center of Children and Technology

Founded in 1980, EDC's Center for Children and Technology (CCT) investigates how technology can influence and enhance teaching and learning across a wide range of educational settings. CCT's research and development work informs education public policy, investigates the potential of new educational technologies, enhances large-scale professional development and reform problems, creates instructional resourcces that support engaged, active learning; and encourages access to and use of technology among underserved populations. Originally a research division of Bank Street College, CCT joined Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), a nonprofit organization headquartered in Newton, Mass., in 1993.

Download the Report