The National Journal asked whether after a decade and lots of supporters the Partnership for 21st Century Skills had succeeded.
As a number of C21 critics have pointed out, good schools have long taught critical thinking and enough content to think about. What’s missing from this thread is the importance of performance assessments. We’ve bent public education to bubble sheet assessment and squeezed out nearly everything authentic about learning. Good schools like High Tech High demand frequent presentations of learning where students show what they know. The focus is on great work product not great test scores (which, of course, take care of themselves).
The Partnership has a lot of supporters but hasn’t done much to change schooling in America. I’m hoping we’ll see some advances in assessment as part of RttT and i3 that pilot combinations of adaptive assessment and performance assessment. However, there’s substantial risk that we’ll lock in on a Common Core and a common set of old-fashioned assessments–an unintentional Partnership for 20th Century Skills.