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President Obama Announces New Plan to Create STEM Master Teaching Corps

July 18, 2012 - 3:43pm

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*Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted on WhiteHouse.gov's Office of Sience and Technology Policy by Phil Larson.

Today, the Obama Administration announced the President’s plan to create a national Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering (STEM) Master Teacher Corps. The STEM Master Teacher Corps will begin in 50 locations across the country, each with 50 exceptional STEM educators. Over the next four years the Corps will expand to include 10,000 of the best STEM teachers in the nation. In joining the STEM Master Teachers Corps, these educators will make a commitment to champion the cause of STEM education in their respective communities, and will receive additional resources to mentor math and science teachers, inspire students, and help their communities grow.

Improving America’s STEM education is one of President Obama’s top priorities.  As he has said repeatedly, efforts to improve STEM education are “going to make more of a difference in determining how well we do as a country than just about anything else that we do here.” A world-class STEM workforce is essential to virtually every goal we have as a nation – whether it’s broadly shared economic prosperity, international competitiveness, a strong national defense, a clean energy future, and longer, healthier, lives for all Americans.   If we want the future to be made in America, we need to redouble our efforts to strengthen and expand our STEM workforce.

The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring America’s students are prepared to succeed in an increasingly competitive economy. To do so, we must make sure effective, capable teachers are guiding our youth in the classroom. By creating a STEM Master Teaching Corps to inspire students, and by giving these educators the necessary resources to teach well, we are investing in America’s future.

In a roundtable today with a group of K-12 math and science teachers at the White House, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, OSTP Director Dr. John Holdren, and PCAST Co-Chair Dr. Eric Lander announced the proposal, which the Administration will launch with the $1 billion allocated in President Obama’s 2013 budget plan currently before Congress.

At the same time, the Administration also announced the immediate dedication of $100 million from the Teachers Incentive Fund to help schools establish well-defined, attractive career paths in STEM education for teachers who excel. The program will require these highly effective teachers to model STEM instruction for their peers and take on additional responsibilities in their school districts.

Already, 30 school districts across the Nation have expressed interest in competing for this funding to boost their STEM programs.

The President’s proposals build off a carefully considered recommendation from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to applaud our Nation’s STEM educators, retain talented individuals by incentivizing STEM teaching, and encourage teacher cooperation to improve STEM education across the country. 

Have questions about the STEM Master Teacher Corps announcement or other Obama Administration initiatives to support STEM education? 

Today, Wednesday, July 18th at 4:00 p.m. EDT we’re holding a special session of White House Office Hours on Twitter to answer your questions. Kumar Garg, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will be tweeting from @WhiteHouseOSTP and Steve Robinson, Domestic Policy Council, will be on @WHLive to discuss today announcement. 

Here’s how it works:

To learn more about the administration’s efforts to promote excellence in STEM education visithttp://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp and then join us for Office Hours today at 4:00 p.m. EDT with Kumar Garg and Steve Robinson.

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