Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

This page contains resources that promote career readiness and 21st century skills for all students.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

California joins Partnership for 21st Century State Leadership Network to help prepare students for Common Core State Standards and Career Readiness Standards

California is one of the 19 States that are working together with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) to promote real world 21st Century learning.

Founded in 2001, P21 is a national organization based in Washington, D.C. It serves as a catalyst in the 21st Century Education movement, working with business, educators, parents, and government to insure that all students are prepared with the rigorous content knowledge and broad curricula they will need for college and career readiness and global citizenship.

Link to Press Release - Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson Announces California Joins National Partnership to Teach 21st Century Skills.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework Definitions

The P21 Framework was developed to help practitioners integrate skills into the teaching of core academic subjects. The Partnership has developed a unified, collective vision for learning known as the Framework for 21st Century Learning.

This Framework describes the skills, knowledge, and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life: it is a blend of content knowledge specific skills, expertise and literacies.  The essential skills for success in today’s world include the following:

  • Learning and Innovation Skills (The Four C’s: Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity)
  • Life and Career Skills
  • Information, Media, and Technological Skills

These skills are learned across the expanded core subjects, essential for all students in the 21st Century.  These include:

  • English, Reading or Language Arts
  • World Languages
  • Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Government and Civics
In addition to these subjects, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills believes schools must move to include not only a focus on mastery of core skills, but also promote understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st Century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects.

21st Century Themes include:

  • Global Awareness
  • Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy
  • Civic Literacy
  • Health Literacy
  • Environmental Literacy

Further Information:

Questions:   David Militzer || 916-934-3603
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Share this Page

Recently Posted in Initiatives & Programs

  • Civic Learning Award Rubric (PDF) (added 05-Nov-2015)
    The application asks schools to describe their civic learning practices and programs, with an emphasis on those that incorporate research-based areas of effective civic education.
  • Civic Learning Award Application (PDF) (added 05-Nov-2015)
    2015-16 Civic Learning Award application for public schools
  • Civic Education Initiative (updated 02-Nov-2015)
    Information on the latest in Civic Education initiatives and programs sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.