Vision21 Launches to Implement 21st Century Schools

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Think global, act local. That's the mantra of new catalyst organizations like VIsion21 who are stepping forward to help U.S. schools implement 21st Century skills. Just in time. According to a major research institute, the full cost of public education may be as high as $25,000 per student, per year. And we still are not adequately preparing our students to compete in the 21st Century.

Vision21 is helping schools implement 21st Century skills

The P21 Framework is the Magna Carta for educational change, but schools need help putting its broad ideas into action

Almost a decade into the 21st century American schools are still struggling with old school educational models and mounting evidence that our students are not prepared for the knowledge-based global economy.

But new resources like Vision21 Educational Group are emerging to enact change, step by step, school by school.

Vision21 springs from the groundbreaking work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, whose Framework for 21st Century Learning has quickly become the new rally point for educators and government leaders across the country.

"The P21 Framework is the Magna Carta for educational change, but schools need help putting its broad ideas into action," says Vision21 founder and president, Nick deKanter. "That's where we come in. We provide individual school districts with a structured process for turning P21 guidelines into specific changes that make scholastic and economic sense for each school."

Is 21st century education a simple matter of more computers? Or different courses?

"This goes way beyond technology, even beyond curriculum," says Mr. deKanter. "We must close the huge gap in critical thinking skills, and that is not addressable by a new textbook or laptop. The easy out is to say we don't have enough money. Towns and states might even spend less money if we invest in the right approach. The fact that we're teaching kids in 2008 with educational formulas designed in the '60s and '70s tells you the system itself is out of alignment. It's not about funding education, it's about finding education."

A growing number of states - Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and others - are announcing public mandates to put their schools on the road to 21st Century skills. But as with No Child Left Behind, Head Start, and other national initiatives, the majority of school districts are essentially on their own when it comes to implementing specific changes at the local level. Difficult budgeting questions arise, along with the very basic "where do we start" question that so often stalls even the most well-intended campaigns.

Getting started - practically and affordably - is addressed by "Start21," Vision 21 Education Group's unique tool set for integrating of 21st century skills into individual school districts. The program includes a modular suite of services that tells each school where they stand, what they need to do, and how successfully they are progressing toward their 21st Century objectives.

About Vision 21 Education Group
Founded by educational video game pioneer Nick deKanter, Vision21 bridges the gap between policy mandates and real-world transformation of America's K-12 schools. Blending its skills in business and academia, Vision21 helps individual school districts set clear goals and take measurable actions toward the realization of 21st Century education. Services include mapping of outcomes and standards to the 21st Century Skills framework, technology integration, outreach to community stakeholders, professional development for teachers and administrators, and alliance building between schools and local business. For more information visit http://www.vi21on.com or contact Nick deKanter at nick @ vi21on.com.

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PETER GREER
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