August 22, 2012 Dear Colleague,

August 22, 2012
Dear Colleague,
I know you share my interest in supporting school and district leaders in making 21st century
education a reality for the students in North Carolina.
About 18 months ago, a new professional learning community of leaders formed EdLeader21 to
support local implementations of 21st century education. As of today they now have over 100
schools and districts around the country participating in this work, which is designed to help district
and school leaders:
Build capacity system-wide for the 4C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and
creativity) in core academic subjects
Find and implement real and well-vetted best practices for 21st century education
Connect with and learn from other leaders nation-wide who are doing 21st century
Energize educators and the community around preparing students for success in college, career
and life in the 21st century
I know the founders of EdLeader21 ( and their long history in promoting 21st
century skills in North Carolina and across the U.S. The CEO, Ken Kay, was the former co-founder
and president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, of which NC was an original member. He
and his team are now working with some of the most forward-thinking district leaders in the
country to strengthen higher order thinking skills in teaching and learning. Jim Merrill, former
superintendent in Alamance County and NC Principal of the Year who many of you know, is part of
the network.
Much of EdLeader21’s work to date has focused on how to embed the 4C's into K-12 systems of
teaching and learning. They have recently:
Released 4C's rubrics for elementary, middle and high school
Piloted the new PISA-Based Test for Schools across their network
Created stakeholder outreach tools and resource guides across a range of topics
William C. Harrison, Ed.D., Chairman | [email protected]
6302 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-6302 | (919) 807-3441 | Fax (919) 807-3445
Produced a series of professional development webinars with speakers such as Daniel Pink,
Andreas Schleicher and Yong Zhao
Begun creating assessment tools to define what it means to be a 21st century district
Given your leadership in education, I hope you will consider getting involved. Some relevant links
are included at the bottom of this email. If you would like to hear directly from Ken or his team,
feel free to email him at [email protected] or call me at 919-807-3441 if you would like
additional information.
Please let me know if you are interested in hearing more about this group and if I can do anything
else to support your consideration.
Bill Harrison
Related links that may be helpful:
1. EdLeader21 –
2. EdLeader21 videos – Assessing the 4C’s and others -
3. NEA – “Preparing 21st Century Students for a Global Society: An Educator’s Guide to the Four
4. “The Leader’s Guide to 21st Century Education: 7 Steps for Schools and Districts” Amazon:; Pearson:
5. National Academies: “Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and
Skills in the 21st Century”