About 21st Century Skills
Mission and Vision
Why They Are Needed
-- The World Is Changing
-- Global Competition
-- Different Skills Required
-- Education Must Change
Why They Are Important
-- Closing the Gap
What They Are
-- Core Subjects
-- Learning and Innovation Skills
-- Information Media and Technology Skills
-- Life and Career Skills
What Minnesotans Can Do
21st Century Schools
Advisory Council
News and Announcements
Upcoming Presentations
Contact Us
Support Systems


Why 21st Century Skills Are Needed

Creating an aligned 21st century public education system that prepares students, workers and citizens to triumph in the global skills race is the central economic competitive issue for the next decade.

In an economy driven by and engaged in:

  • Marketplaces with intense competition and constant renewal
  • A society faced with complex business, political, technological, health and environmental challenges
  • Diverse workplaces and communities that hinge on collaborative relationships and social networking

The ingenuity, skills and agility of the American people are crucial to U.S. competitiveness.

Our ability to compete as a nation—and the ability of states, regions and communities to attract jobs and drive growth—demands a fresh approach to education.

We need to recognize that a 21st century education is the engine, not simply an input, of the economy. We also need to act accordingly: Every aspect of our education system—pre-K–12, postsecondary and adult education, after-school and youth development, workforce development and training, and teacher development—must be aligned to ensure citizens have the 21st century skills they need to compete.