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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #13-112
November 14, 2013
Contact: Tina Jung
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

California Educators to Present at National Conference on Teaching 21st Century Skills to Students

SACRAMENTO—California educators will share their stories of success in preparing students for college and careers at a national conference next week in Virginia, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

Hosted by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), the conference will recognize Savanna High School in Anaheim as an "Exemplar School" for its comprehensive, innovative approaches to teaching and learning. The opening keynote address for the event will be delivered by Stanford University's Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, who co-chaired both Torlakson's Transition Advisory Team, which crafted the Blueprint for Great Schools, and his Educator Excellence Task Force.

"California has been a leader in recognizing that students need very different knowledge and skills now than they did a generation ago—and, more importantly, in doing something about it," said Torlakson, who led California's joining of the P21 Network about 10 months ago. "From the Common Core to modern assessments, we've already made great strides, and I'm pleased and proud that California's experts will be sharing what we've learned with educators from across the nation."

Savanna High's curriculum features a personalized four-year "capstone" student project that results in a final year portfolio presentation and panel interview with teachers and counselors to demonstrate career and college readiness. Administrators set high standards for students and expect them to be critical thinkers, academically and personally accountable citizens, good communicators and collaborators, globally aware, culturally competent, and digital-age learners. The school offers college-going programs, career pathway academies, Seals of Biliteracy for graduates with dual language competency, and also encourages their student athletes to excel academically.

"California is forming productive partnerships with other states in the P21 Network to learn and share best practices," Darling-Hammond said. "Savanna High School, showcased at the summit, illustrates how an exemplary 21st century school can make positive changes when everyone works together to provide leadership, improve curriculum and instruction, support teachers, and give students options for high-quality career and postsecondary pathways."

The P21 Network's Web site offers a Case Study of Savanna High School's [http://www.p21.org/exemplar-program-case-studies/1295-case-study-savanna-high-school] External link opens in new window or tab. exemplary programs. A number of the school's staff will also participate in a panel discussion titled "21st Century Schools: Equity, Access and Opportunity for All Students," set for November 18, 2013, at the P21 Network's The Summit on 21st Century Learning [http://www.p21.org/news-events/p21-summit] External link opens in new window or tab. in Arlington, Virginia.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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