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What we are doing now is not working?

Recent research shows that No Child Left Behind has shown little or no advances in
closing the gap, and any increases in scores are on the same path as they were before
NCLB. In the end, skill, drill and test has not appreciably increased scores. In addition, in
many comparisons of industrialized countries education systems, the US lags behind. At
home, business people and colleges continually report that students do not have the skills
needed to succeed, including the ability to think, apply and problem solve. Finally as
technology continues to change and bring us a closer world where our students are
competing on a global level, research shows that we are not providing them with the skills
to go out in the world market and succeed. We are leaving our students and our country
behind by concentrating solely on skill, drill and test, and numerous people and world
groups believe this. If you don’t believe it, read the following comments.

88% of Americans believe that the so-called basics in education alone are not adequate for the
21st Century workforce without the ability to be imaginative, creative and innovative.

                                                      Partnership for the 21st Century Skills National Poll Fall 2007

86% of voters believe that encouraging children to be creative and develop their imagination is
necessary to maintain our competitive edge and ensure we do not fall behind other countries.

                                                                      Lake Research Partners
                                                                      December 2007

70% of employers cite deficiencies in high school graduates among applied workplace skills. At
all educational levels, these applied skills trump basic knowledge skills such as reading and
mathematics in importance in the view of employers.
                                                      
                                                                      
“Are They Really Ready to Work?” Conference Board

“U.S. leadership depends on creativity and innovation and not technology alone in order to
compete in the global marketplace.”
                                                                      National Center on Education and the Economy, 2006

“In this increasingly flat world, the most important attributes you can have are adaptability and
a creative imagination, the ability to be the first on your block to figure out how all these
enabling tools, which are now available to so many people, can be put together in new and
exciting profits.”
                                                                      
                                                                      
Thomas Friedman, author
                                                                      The World Is Flat

Less than half of Americans believe that American schools are currently teaching skills of the
imagination and creative skills well.
                                                                      Lake Research Partnership Poll
                                                                      December 2007


If our students are to receive the world class education that they deserve then we must assure
them the opportunity to enhance their creativity and imagination through access to the arts
and 21st century skills in their daily education. It's the only way to assure America the
innovators required to compete in a global community.
                                                      
                                                                      John Wilson, Executive Director
                                                                      National Education Association

98% of Americans believe that imagination, that is, the ability to visualize new possibilities for
thought and action, is critical to innovation and an individual’s success in a global knowledge-
based economy.

                                                                      Partnership for the 21st Century Skills National Poll
                                                                      Fall 200
7

Only 35% of Americans believe that Americans pay as much attention to developing the
imagination and creative workforce skills as nations who compete with the United States.

                                                                      Partnership for the 21st Century Skills National Poll
                                                                      Fall 2007

Nearly three-fourths of Americans ranked “creativity/innovation” as among the top five applied
skills projected to increase in importance for future graduates.
                                                                     
                                                                      
National Conference Board 2006

The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind –
creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people – artists,
inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap
society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.
                                                                      
                                                                      
Daniel Pink, author
                                                                      A Whole New Mind

81% of voters believe that building capacities of the imagination that lead to innovation into
core courses is critical.
                                                                      Lake Research Partners
                                                                      December 2007

Fantasy, curiosity, and imagination are the mental tools required for success in higher-level
math and science. The failure to develop these tools through play is, in part at least, one of the
reasons America is falling behind other countries in attracting young people into these fields.

                                                                      David Elkin, author
                                                                      The Power of Play

The biggest battle is not between (U.S.) workers and other countries, but the battle between
you and your imagination.
                                                                      Thomas Friedman, author
                                                                      The World Is Flat

Imagination is more important than knowledge.                        Albert Einstein, smart guy