Today Iowa received the 21st Century Skills Practice of the Year Award, which is sponsored by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and commemorates the country's preeminent state-led education reform initiatives. Specifically, the award recognizes states that are incorporating knowledge and 21st century skills into classrooms.
The other states honored are Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
"These states have performed an invaluable service by creating national models to guide other states in establishing 21st century learning policies and practices," said Paige Johnson, worldwide manager, K-12 education, Intel Corporation and chair, Partnership for 21st Century Skills of the honored states. "These awards highlight best practices for states as they build world-class education systems to ensure their students graduate with the knowledge and skills required of effective citizens, workers and leaders."
Iowa received its award for the Iowa Core Curriculum and "Authentic Intellectual Work." The Iowa Core Curriculum (Core Curriculum) defines the essential knowledge and skills that each student must learn to succeed in postsecondary life. The Core Curriculum includes content areas such as literacy, math, science and social studies and 21st century skills like civic, health, financial and technology literacy. In conjunction with the Iowa Core Curriculum, Iowa was honored for its training on "Authentic Intellectual Work" (AIW), which creates a framework that sets standards for teaching academic subjects to maximize rigor, increase student engagement, support in-depth coverage of material, and equip students with the skills required to prosper in today's world.
"Teaching and learning are changing in Iowa," said Iowa Department of Education Director Judy Jeffrey. "We are leading in our efforts to make sure all students have the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in our global economy. Our success has been - and will continue to be - due to the involvement of not only teachers and principals, but also of businesses, parents, and community leaders joining together in these efforts."
Iowa was honored at Institute.21, an annual event sponsored by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills showcasing the progress states have made toward infusing 21st century skills into core subjects. The Institute highlights the impact 21st century skills initiatives have on student engagement and achievement.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education. The organization brings together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers to define a powerful vision for 21st century education to ensure every child's success as citizens and workers in the 21st century. The Partnership encourages schools, districts, and states to advocate for the infusion of 21st century skills into education and provides tools and resources to help facilitate and drive change.
Iowa is one of the Partnership's 21st Century Skills Leadership States. Other Leadership states include: Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.