Maine is the latest state to launch a 21st Century Skills Initiative, joining South Dakota and four other states to promote a skill set that education and business leaders say will be essential in the 21st Century.
South Dakota launched our own 21st Century Skills Initiative in June. Gov. Rounds joined Education Secretary Dr. Rick Melmer and representatives of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills to announce the initiative and the creation of a new P21 advisory council. Read the Bulletin's coverage of South Dakota's announcement here, and ASBSD's support of the new initiative here.
Incidentally, on hand for Maine's announcement was Kathy Hurley, a member of the Partnership's Board of Directors, who also helped launch South Dakota's effort. You can hear more from Kathy during the ASBSD and SASD Annual Joint Convention. She's slated to give the closing keynote, and she'll talk about the Partnership and what to expect as the initiative unfolds in South Dakota.
Maine and South Dakota are alike in many ways. Rural states. Relatively low student population. The state's WIRED initiative recently put laptops in the hands of students.
Rumor has it that some top education officials are spending some time in Maine. Let's hope discussions center around things like 21st Century Skills and laptop initiatives, and not on massive reorganization efforts like the one Maine Gov. Baldacci recently put into place. In 2005, Maine's education system was organized into more than 300 school districtsIn The new law mandates school consolidation into 80 school districts, with an "ideal size' of 2,500 students.