13 Jan Teachers' message to Obama: Build technology and innovation skills
Milwaukee, Wis. – Public school teachers want President-elect Barack Obama and Education Secretary designate Arne Duncan to ensure that students are learning 21st century skills, including technology and innovation, according to a new K-12 Priority Survey conducted by the American Society for Quality.
ASQ, which provides resources and training to help K-12 educators implement continuous improvements in schools, said 52 percent of the teachers surveyed ranked 21st Century skills as the most important priority for the new administration.
Those skills have been defined by the Partnership for the 21st Century Skills as the learning, innovation, technology, and life and career skills that students will need to live and work in the new millennium.
Teachers also ranked math and science as the top subjects that U.S. students need more focus on in their schools, followed by technology/computer training and foreign languages. (Another recent ASQ study shows that parents and other adults agree with educators that schools are not making these skills a priority in the classroom).
Also in the survey, two items tied as a second place priority: retaining qualified teachers (42 percent) and helping all students meet achievement goals (also 42 percent).
Surprisingly, transforming the No Child Left Behind policy to improve measurements was not listed as a top priority for this group, as only 29 percent ranked this as a top area of focus.
ASQ conducted the survey of teachers and education administrators around the United States over the past several months.
“While education may not be front and center due to the immediate economic crisis, educators want to remind President-elect Obama that K-12 students need to be a top priority so that our nation can produce a globally competitive work force for the future,” Maurice Ghysels, chair of ASQ’s K-12 Education Advisory Committee, said in a statement released with the survey findings. “Ensuring 21st century skills will be a critical component to making this happen.”