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A Review of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills White Papers

A Review of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills White Papers

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Published by RestoreOKPublicEd
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is being touted by a number of states, Oklahoma included. This particular educational philosophy is nothing more than a reiteration and espousal of the turn of the 20th century progressive educational beliefs of John Dewey. Dewey's notion of schools as the center of family life and whole child education have utterly failed as we look at the educational landscape of the 21st century. This law must be repudiated for what it is. Please help ROPE kill the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Act in Congress.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is being touted by a number of states, Oklahoma included. This particular educational philosophy is nothing more than a reiteration and espousal of the turn of the 20th century progressive educational beliefs of John Dewey. Dewey's notion of schools as the center of family life and whole child education have utterly failed as we look at the educational landscape of the 21st century. This law must be repudiated for what it is. Please help ROPE kill the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Act in Congress.

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Published by: RestoreOKPublicEd on Aug 16, 2011
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A Review of the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills White PapersPertaining toH.R. 2536 “21
st
Century Skills Readiness Act”
By Danna Foreman, Restore Oklahoma Public Education (ROPE) The philosophical beliefs expressed by the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skillsin this white paper are contrary to the principles of our sovereignconstitutional republic. Restore Oklahoma Public Education opposesH.R.  2536(Open Congress) on the following grounds:1.An international consortium should not be writing the EducationalPolicy of the United States.
2.
 The whole child philosophy endorsed by the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills was developed by and for socialists and best serves asocialist society not the Republic of the United States of America.
3.
 The Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills promotes information basedlearning in order to produce skilled workers for the global economyrather than the traditional model of education where knowledge isobtained through the rigorous study of truth, facts and principlesresulting in an educated citizenry.
The Intellectual and Policy Foundations of the 21
st
CenturySkills Framework 
 The Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills White Paper entitled “ The Intellectualand Policy Foundations of the 21
Century Skills Framework(Partnership for21st Century Skills)openly espouses the child-centered philosophies of socialists John Dewey, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky and their theory of social constructionism as itpertains to the “social collective” (page 5). This white paper is rife with the language of the socialists of whose viewsthey espouse. This cannot be ignored. Americans should not be embracingsocialist and couching them as education reform.Further quotes from this paper include, “John Dewey, perhaps the best-knowneducator of the 20th century, also responded to the transformations aroundhim. “It is radical conditions which have changed,” he wrote, “and only aradical change in education suffices… Knowledge is no longer an immobilesolid; it has been liquefied” (page 4).And, “Unlike Cubberly, though, Dewey believed the aim of 20th centuryeducation was not the production of a labor force, but the enrichment of theindividual and society by developing a child’s “social power and insight”(page 5). “Dewey advocated learning by doing and a curriculum that involvedthe mind, hands, and heart” (Page 2).
Redefining Education
A Review of the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills White PapersPage 1Danna Foreman
 
P-21 purports to advocate critical thinking while at the same time stating thatthe memorization of facts is antiquated, yet how can one reason without afoundation of absolute truths, facts and principles.“These technologies also change our relationship with information and thus,suggest changes in educational goals. With instant access to facts, forinstance, schools are able to reconceive the role of memorization, and focusmore on higher order skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation” (Page6).“For ages, traditional education, with its emphasis on rote learning andmemorization of static facts, has valued conformity over novelty of thought.But in today’s world of global competition and task automation, innovativecapacity and a creative spirit are fast becoming requirements for personaland professional success. Robinson says, in fact, that humanity’s futuredepends on our ability to “reconstitute our conception of human capacity”and place creativity and innovation in the forefront of our educationalsystems” (Page 15).
Interdisciplinary Themes
P-21 proposes integrating interdisciplinary topics with core subjects. Greenmath is an example. The Common Core Standards content P-21 supports andmany states have adopted has been gutted and transformed from knowledgebased education to informative learning. A tweet on the P-21 site boasts"Maryland leads in mandating environmental literacy requirement for all grads.” (Williams).“The Partnership’s Framework stresses interdisciplinary topics focused onfour themes with special relevance to modern life: Global Awareness;Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy; Civic Literacy;and Health Literacy (Page 10).“The Partnership believes interdisciplinary topics are best approachedthrough the core subjects listed above, as their effectiveness, according tocurriculum expert Heidi Hayes Jacobs, depends on a solid grounding in thesame core disciplines that are linked by these interdisciplinary themes” (Page10)
.Globalism
 The P-21 vision for education is unquestionably global in nature. Any ideas of American exceptionalism or achievement are noticeably missing from allpapers and P-21 websites.In the section titled “Education and Global Convergence” it explains howeducation in the 21
st
century “must be attentive to the needs of the individualchild and to society as a whole” and “we can build on educational goals thathave long been a part of our global heritage” (Page 7).What about our American heritage?A Review of the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills White PapersPage 2Danna Foreman
 
The 21
st
Century Learning Environments
Whole Child Movement
  The white paper entitled “ The 21
Century Learning Environments(Partnership for 21st Century Skills) directly advocates the Whole ChildMovement which leaves behind the traditional classical method of educationrooted in truth and facts in favor of experienced based activity. The wholechild philosophy considers rote knowledge antiquated and emphasizespresent experience as a preferred means of learning. “To educate the whole child, though, schools must devote themselves tomore than the mind-body connection alone. They must attend to theemotional and social learning needs of children, as well as to more traditionalobjectives of academic achievement and physical education. While the rootsof the whole child movement date back to the child-centered philosophies of  John Dewey, current educational research and a new broader conception of student achievement add even greater significance and urgency to itsappeal” (Page 4).
Internet Access - a Right
A theme throughout the P-21 Learning Environment white paper is thenecessity for
all
students to have high-speed internet access and this accessmust be provided in order to ensure “educational effectiveness” and closethe “digital divide.”“Organizational efficiency and educational effectiveness also depend on a
flexible telecommunications infrastructure
or backbone, with sufficientbandwidth to handle anticipated telephony, Internet, and local area traffic,plus overage to allow for future growth and new applications. To provideguidance, a recent SETDA report, “High-Speed Broadband Access for allKids,” describes desirable performance standards for both local and widearea networks. A Local Area Network (LAN) for a school or school districtneeds to cover all physical areas, including classrooms, the library, cafeteria,administrative, counseling, and special services offices. Thus, the LAN shouldcover instructional, transportation, food service, nursing, and ground andfacilities personnel, as well as provide virtual areas for distance learning andremote access for educational purposes.”“The same SEDTA report calls on communities to provide 24/7 high-speedbroadband access in order to create “rigorous, technology-infused learningenvironments” for students.”(Page 20)“The report notes that broadband access is especially critical in overcomingthe digital divide in rural and low socio-economic areas.” (Page 21)
National Data Centers
 The collection of data raises a myriad of privacy concerns such as: Who willhave access to the data? With what countries will the U.S. be networking?Why areFERPA guidelines being changed(Regulations.gov) this year to allowthe collection of data from a minor without parental consent?A Review of the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills White PapersPage 3Danna Foreman

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