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Partnership for 21st Century Skills Releases MILE Guide

Posted Nov 6, 2009
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The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has released the Milestones for Improving Learning and Education (MILE) Guide, a hands-on tool designed to help districts and schools evaluate their integration of 21st century skills into current and future policies and practices.


The MILE Guide, released at the American Association of School Librarian’s National Conference, helps districts and schools determine where they are on the spectrum of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills required for success in today’s world. It includes a Self-Assessment tool that provides three benchmarks (early stage, transitional stage and 21st century) for how far along schools and districts are in terms of student knowledge and skills; education support systems; leading and teaching; policy-making; partnering; and continuous improvement/strategic planning.


In addition to the Self-Assessment tool, the MILE Guide includes a set of recommendations organized around five support system areas:


Professional development;

Curriculum and instruction;

Learning environments; and


To provide districts and schools with a yardstick as to where they are in ensuring students graduate with the knowledge and skills required to be successful in today’s world, the MILE Guide provides key indicators for the early stage, transitional stage and 21st century stage.


For example, when looking at student knowledge and skills, an early stage indicator is that student work primarily demonstrates rote factual knowledge in core academic subjects, while a transitional stage indicator is that student work demonstrates mastery of core academic subject knowledge.


At the 21st century stage, two indicators are that all student work demonstrates mastery and understanding of core academic disciplinary knowledge and over 75 percent of student work demonstrates the ability to think critically, problem solve, create, innovate, communicate and collaborate.


After completing the self-assessment, districts and schools are encouraged to consider the included Implementation Guiding Recommendations, which were adapted from the State Implementation Guides. There are recommendations for each support system area, accompanied by specific examples from districts around the country.


For example, the guide recommends districts develop intensive teacher professional development programs that focus on enhancing skills and knowledge acquisition in the teaching of core subjects. 


The MILE Guide is available at


Source: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills,

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