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White House Panel: Hire 100,000 STEM Teachers

White House

A presidential advisory panel is calling for the federal government to recruit and train 100,000 “great STEM teachers ” over the next decade, recognize a master corps of the best educators, and develop 1,000 schools devoted to science, technology, engineering and math.

In a new report, the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) spells out a series of initiatives intended to help inspire students and improve their proficiency in STEM subjects. The report is one of several recent attempts at the federal level to reverse a decline of American students’ performance in math and science relative to other countries.

According to the report, good STEM teachers must simultaneously have a deep knowledge of STEM content and strong pedagogical skills. They also should be rewarded on a national scale. The proposed STEM Master Teachers Corps would recognize a larger percentage of teachers than previous efforts like the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, create an interactive community, and provide a larger monetary award.

Several pre-existing programs could serve as national models, according to the report. These include the UTeach teacher training and recruitment program from the University of Texas-Austin and Math for America, which offers a fellowship program with salary supplementation.

All told, the report’s proposals would cost $1 billion, PCAST says, although much of it could come from private foundations and corporations, as well as from states and districts.

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