For Immediate Release                                                                                                                   
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Illinois Joins 12 States to develop Career-Ready Courses

Courses and Assessment will be updated to better prepare students to succeed in the workplace

SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that Illinois is joining 12 other states to develop rigorous career-ready standards. Illinois, Louisiana and Nevada are the latest to join “The State Leadership Initiative.” In becoming a Leadership State, Illinois has committed to modifying curriculum, instruction and assessments to create rigorous and relevant courses for the state’s students.

“Joining the Partnership reinforces Illinois’ priority of preparing students to become productive citizens in today’s world,” said Christopher A. Koch State Superintendent of Education. “It is critical for states to connect standards to curriculum and instruction as it is through the application of knowledge and skills that learning takes place.”

“The State Leadership Initiative," is being led by The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, an Arizona-based advocacy organization promoting the most updated skills in education. The initiative is supported by the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Principals Association, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and others.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 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.

The 21st Century Skills Leadership States educate nearly 11 million students in 13 states: 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, Atomic Learning, Blackboard, Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cengage Learning, Cisco Systems, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Davis Publications, Dell, Inc., Discovery Education, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Educational Testing Service, Ford Motor Company Fund, Giant Campus, Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, JA Worldwide®, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, K12, LEGO Group, Learning Point Associates, Lenovo, Measured Progress, Microsoft Corporation, National Education Association, Oracle Education Foundation, Pearson, PolyVision, Scholastic Education, Sesame Workshop, THINKronize, Verizon, and Wireless Generation.

Organizations interested in joining the Partnership may contact