Statement by P21 on NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel Report

Statement by P21, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, on NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel Report of Clinical Teacher Preparation

Washington, DC -- December 21, 2010 -- P21, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, applauds the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Blue Ribbon Panel for their recent call to action to transform the way we prepare our teachers for today's classroom and schools. Transforming Teacher Education Through Clinical Practice: A National Strategy to Prepare Effective Teachers addresses a new vision for teacher education that centers on clinical preparation and experience.

A key recommendation coming out of the 2009 National Education Summit on 21st Century Skills, hosted by P21, was for NCATE to incorporate 21st century skills, and particularly the 4C's of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving and creativity and innovation, in addition to content mastery, into their vision for teacher education.

"Having teachers able to both model 21st Century Skills and teach them increases the likelihood that our students will be prepared for success in school, work and life," says Julie Walker, Chair of P21's Board of Directors.

P21 welcomes NCATE's assertion that teacher preparation programs must, " prepare teachers who are expert in content and how to teach it and are also innovators, collaborators and problem solvers" and that "effective teachers are innovators and problem solvers, working with colleagues constantly seeking new and different ways of teaching students who are struggling. The paper further notes that teachers must, "practice in a collaborative culture, expecting rigorous peer review of their practice and their impact on student learning."

Concurrently, P21 and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) recently published a paper, 21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation, that represents a shared vision around 21st century knowledge and skills in educator preparation based on a core set of principles. The joint effort echoes NCATE's call for action by recommending that, "teacher candidates receive extensive, in-depth clinical experiences with mentoring support that requires performance evaluation tied to the teacher licensure process and high standards for beginning practice." The paper has sparked meaningful dialogue among higher education leaders about implementing this vision in educator preparation programs.

Download the P21/AACTE whitepaper:

21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation (Adobe PDF)

"P21 looks forward to continuing to work with NCATE, AACTE and teacher educators around the country on the rigorous task of improving the professional preparation required to respond to the needs of all 21st century learners," adds, Timothy Magner, Executive Director of P21.

As educators become increasingly more responsible to develop and organize content and instruction for their students, the playing field has become progressively more uneven. Pre-service educators will benefit greatly from the ability to fully explore and understand how to develop and use curriculum for the deep understanding and mastery of academic subject knowledge and the fluency in skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity necessary for students to be successful in the 21st Century.

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 Carolina, 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, GlobalScholar, 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, netTrekker, Oracle Education Foundation, Pearson, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, and Verizon. Organizations or states interested in joining the Partnership may contact