Partnership for 21st Century Skills Announces New Leadership

Contact: Albert Lang (202) 585-0243 (w); (202) 207-8510 (c);

Partnership for 21st Century Skills Announces New Leadership

Pearson’s Kathy Hurley Elected as Chairman 

National Education-Business Coalition Also Welcomes the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and The Walt Disney Company as the Latest Members


Sept. 15, 2009 – TUCSON, Ariz. – The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the leading national advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education, today announced the election of Kathy Hurley, senior vice president of strategic partnerships for the education services and technology company Pearson, as the new board chair for the 2009-2010 academic year.

In addition, Julie Walker, executive director for the American Association of School Librarians, was elected to serve as vice chair. Joining Hurley and Walker, Lillian Kellogg, vice president of client services, Education Networks of America, will continue in her role as treasurer and Kim Quinn-Hutchinson, vice president of school development, K12, was elected secretary. Hurley replaces Paige Johnson, worldwide manager of K-12 education for Intel Corporation.

In defining the key goals of her tenure, Hurley stated, "In his recent address to school children, President Obama told millions of students around the country, that ‘What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.’ This is a clear affirmation of the mission of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and for the goals I’ve set for the next year. These goals, I believe, will add further momentum to the important work of The Partnership." Hurley described the top three goals:

First, to work toward ensuring that all education standards are rigorous and include the combination of 21st century skills within all core subject areas, including reading, mathematics, science, social studies and the arts. Adoption of these standards will provide every child the knowledge and skills required to prosper in today’s global economy. Secondly, Hurley wants to build a consensus that 21st century skills can and must be measured in K-12 education. Lastly she hopes to expand the State Leadership Initiative from 13 states to 20 by the end of 2010.

Hurley noted that The Partnership for 21st Century Skills will release several important papers to support practitioners and policymakers as they create 21st century education systems. The first two to be issued are:

State Implementation Guides, which will offer best practices on building 21st century standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development and learning environments; and The Milestones for Improving Learning and Education (MILE) Guide, to be released November 6 at the American Association of School Librarians meeting, which will help practitioners measure the progress of their schools in defining, teaching and assessing 21st century skills. Included in the MILE Guide will be sections of the state implementation guides that are tailored for schools and districts. 

In addition to new leadership, the Partnership welcomes the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and The Walt Disney Company as the latest organizations to join its membership, bringing the total number to 37.

"With another leading national organization joining our already impressive board, there is clear consensus that we must bring 21st century skills and rigorous core courses to the nation’s K-12 students today," said Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. "The commitment of our 37 members demonstrates that every sector of our society is focused on ensuring students graduate capable of succeeding in college and work."

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills also announced three new staff members. Alyson Nielson, formerly director of human resources for the Tucson Unified School District, will become the Partnership’s new chief operating officer. Alan Knapp, formerly the deputy chief of staff for Representative Ted Poe (R-TX), will become the Partnership’s national policy director and Kevin Wesolowski, formerly coordinator of the National School Boards Foundation, is now manager of state and national initiatives.

About the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is the 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.

21st Century Skills Leadership States include: Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Member organizations include: Adobe Systems, Inc., American Association of School Librarians, Apple, ASCD, Blackboard, Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cisco Systems, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Dell, Inc., Education Networks of America, Educational Testing Service, EF Education, Ford Motor Company Fund, Gale, Cengage Learning, Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, JA Worldwide®, K12, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Learning Point Associates, LEGO Group, Lenovo, McGraw Hill, Measured Progress, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, netTrekker, Oracle Education Foundation, Pearson, PolyVision, Quarasan!, Scholastic Education, Sesame Workshop, Sun Microsystems, Verizon, and The Walt Disney Company.

Organizations interested in joining the Partnership may contact