The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, formed in 2002, combined earlier initiatives and created a model to help define the skills students will need to gain from their education to make them successful in this century.

As the name suggests, P21 consists of a number of partners with major stakes in education. These include businesses with ties to education, educational leaders and policymakers. The goal of P21 is to advocate for policies and practices that put 21st century readiness at the core of K-12 education.