Mr. PETRI. Mr. Speaker, in order for our students to be competitive in the global economy, we must do our part to ensure that they are acquiring the knowledge and skills they need for success.
The skills needed for success go beyond the basics of reading, writing, and math, however. When surveyed, employers continually emphasize that, in our 21st century economy, students need to be adept at critical thinking and problem solving; communication; collaboration; and creativity and innovation, in addition to being proficient in core subjects.
Sixteen states, as well as local school districts from across the country, have formed a partnership with over thirty leading education organizations and corporate entities to find ways to strengthen 21st century skills in their K-12 classrooms. However, this momentum isn't sustainable unless federal policy gives states and districts the flexibility to innovate in this direction.
To remedy this, Rep. DAVE LOEBSACK and I are introducing the 21st Century Readiness Act. This bill does not create any new programs or authorize additional spending; instead, it would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to emphasize the importance of 21st century skills and give states and districts added flexibility to develop and enhance these skills as part of their own initiatives.
A growing coalition of states and school districts has recognized the importance of giving our students the tools they need to succeed in our 21st century workforce. This bill will give them the flexibility to succeed in these efforts.
I hope that our colleagues will join us in this effort.