A New Era of Education Reform: Preparing All Students for Success in College, Career and Life

Jill Norton, Lisa Famularo, Michael Bennett, and Ivy Washington

In an increasingly complex and global economy, the knowledge and skills required for students to be successful in college and beyond has deepened. Many schools argue that providing students with a broader set of skills that will enable them to thrive in the 21st century—such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and creativity—is vital. Even so, others maintain that  students must continue to focus solely on mastering basic reading, writing and mathematics skills.

In 2010, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy conducted a statwide survey of superintendents, charter school leaders and principals to gauge the extent to which they support the integration of 21st century skills into public education.

While the public debate about the merits of '21st century skills' continues, some schools and districts across the Commonwealth have already decided the direction they will take.