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Statements of Support for the President's STEM Master Teachers Corps

Today, the Obama Administration announced plans for a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps to recognize outstanding STEM educators across the country and improve our Nation’s STEM education as a whole.
Secretary Duncan and Patrick Honner

Brooklyn Technical High School teacher Patrick Honner is greeted by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at an educator’s roundtable to discuss the Administration’s new STEM Master Teacher Corps efforts at the White House, July 18, 2012. (Photo by Bobby Dresser)

Today, the Obama Administration announced plans for a new national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps to recognize outstanding STEM educators across the country and improve our Nation’s STEM education as a whole. The program will be funded by $1 billion requested in the President’s 2013 budget, which is currently in front of Congress.

The Administration recognizes that STEM education must be a national priority if we are to continue to succeed in an increasingly global economy. America needs effective and accomplished STEM educators to engage and inspire our youth in the classroom. At the same time, our teachers must provide students with opportunities for critical thinking and deep learning.

Below are statements from leaders in the education community who support the Preisdent's STEM Master Teacher Corps:

Statement by 100Kin10

"100Kin10, a partnership committed to recruiting, preparing, and retaining 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers in 10 years, applauds the announcement today by the Obama Administration of a national STEM Master Teachers Corps that recognizes, rewards, and engages the best STEM teachers, elevates the status of the profession, and provides funds to support mentorship activities in their schools and districts."

Statement by National Science Teachers Association

“The National Science Teachers Association commends President Obama for the prominent focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and for his support of quality teachers through his recently announced STEM Master Teacher Corps initiative. Improving STEM education is essential to maintaining the United States’ competitive technological edge and teachers are the primary agents for effecting meaningful change. With the proper funding and support, STEM master teachers can mentor other STEM teachers, share best practices, and serve as role models for others.”

 Statement by National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

“I commend the President’s announcement today of a new initiative to create a national STEM Master Teacher Corps.  The President’s plan recognizes that we must forge teaching into a true profession and use the skill and vision of excellent teachers to drive school reform.  Since our founding in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has sought to recognize and support truly accomplished teachers and teaching.  As such, our mission is completely aligned with the President’s vision for building a highly accomplished STEM Master Teacher Corps.  Today, there are more than 14,000 STEM teachers at the middle and high school level that have achieved National Board Certification as well as more than 40,000 National Board Certified Teachers teaching in the elementary grades who have demonstrated their excellence in science and math instruction leading to improved student achievement.  If we are going to not only compete with but surpass the world’s highest performing countries, we must make a conscious investment in building the strongest possible teacher workforce.  This initiative makes a clear statement that the United States is determined to ensure that our nation’s students are able to compete in a 21stCentury global economy.”

Ron Thorpe
President & CEO, NBPTS 

Statement by Math for America

"Math for America applauds the bold vision of a national STEM Master Teacher Corps put forward by the President. That vision makes our most outstanding teachers the driving force behind mathematics and science education, creating both leaders and models for new or aspiring teachers. It changes the public perception of teachers by recognizing our most talented-those who possess both deep content knowledge and extraordinary craftsmanship in presenting it to others. And it focuses on our educational strengths, which ultimately is always the best path to excellence."

John Ewing
President, Math for America

 Statement by STEM Education Coalition:

“We appreciate the President's bold vision in proposing a new nationwide STEM Master Teacher Corps.  One of the best things we can do for America's students - our future innovators - is make sure they have great teachers who have the best possible training in STEM subjects.  Our Coalition is committed to working with the Administration and both parties in Congress to establish STEM education as a true national priority.” 

James Brown
Executive Director
STEM Education Coalition

Statement by Microsoft

“Today President Barack Obama announced a plan to create a new STEM Master Teacher Corps to enhance education in these important subjects. We applaud the President’s plan to provide more resources to STEM education and help address the critical need for developing and maintaining a strong pipeline of STEM talent. Our country must take a more aggressive approach to preparing American students to compete in a 21st century economy. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.

The U.S. faces a growing shortage of workers trained in STEM fields and companies such as Microsoft are unable to fill many high-skilled, high-paying positions.  According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the U.S. will only be able to fill about 50% of the projected 1.5 million new STEM jobs that will be created over the next decade.  In fact, as of last month, Microsoft had more than 5,000 job openings in the U.S., including more than 3,000 engineering and research positions – reflecting the unemployment rate of just 3.1 percent in these fields.  In order to continue to fuel innovation, while generating high-paying jobs here in the U.S., our country must commit to educating the next generation of American workers in critical STEM fields.

Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Education are currently working together to recruit one million teachers to the classroom, with one of the areas of particular emphasis being STEM as part of the initiative.  We look forward to continuing these efforts to support future innovation and our nation’s students and STEM teachers.” 

Fred Humphries
Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs

Statement by House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer

“The President’s new STEM Master Teachers Corps is a bold initiative aimed at making American students more competitive in today’s job market.  In meetings with manufacturing leaders, I hear the same message: manufacturers want to bring jobs back, but we are not producing enough workers with the science and math skills necessary.  Recruiting, retaining, and rewarding highly-effective STEM teachers will improve the likelihood that our students will graduate with the skills they need to compete for jobs and pursue postsecondary studies.  I am pleased the President will immediately make resources available through the Teacher Incentive Fund to meet these objectives.  

“Unfortunately, as demonstrated in the Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill they released yesterday, House Republicans have shown little interest in making investments in STEM education.  They ought to recognize the value these investments bring to our economy and the opportunities they create for our middle-class.  Investing in STEM education is central to House Democrats’ Make It In America jobs plan, and I call on Republicans to work with us to build a strong, skilled workforce ready for the advanced manufacturing jobs being created today – and for the jobs of tomorrow.”   

Statement by TechNet:

"This initiative aligns with what the tech sector has been saying--improving workforce quality means investing in education and educators," said Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet. "For American business to remain competitive in today's global economy we need to grow our knowledge workforce. Programs like this are an important step forward in helping prepare our kids for the jobs of tomorrow."

Statement by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

“In a digital, international information age, the economic future of the U.S. and all other nations will be determined by their STEM resources—human capital being key. Today, we have a shortage of STEM teachers, particularly in high-need school districts. Our universities are not preparing the number and quality of STEM teachers that we need, and we lose too many because they don’t get strong mentoring. This is the focus of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship and the work we do with our 100Kin10 partners. A national corps of STEM master teachers offers the policy and motivation to close the gap.”

Arthur Levine
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Statement by Los Angeles Unified School District

“Delivering new teachers to the steps of the schoolhouse is important, but if we want them to succeed and remain in the classroom, new teachers need access to role models and need to know that their own excellence in the classroom can one day be recognized and rewarded. Our very best STEM teachers rightfully demand the same. A STEM master teacher corps will contribute to both these goals.”

John Deasy
Superintendent of Schools
by Los Angeles Unified School District

Statement by the New Teacher Center

"The STEM Master Teacher Corps has vast potential since support for new teachers is at its heart. Like the 100Kin10 movement, this new initiative acknowledges that providing new STEM teachers with the one-on-one mentoring and professional development they need is as important as efforts to prepare and recruit them. We know from our work across the country that pairing accomplished Corps members with new STEM teachers will result in more effective novice educators who will improve student learning and remain in the profession."

Ellen Moir
Founder and CEO
New Teacher Center

Statement by American Chemical Society

"Teaching STEM subjects is most effectively achieved by teachers who are masters in the field,"  To really teach our kids science, math, and engineering it is imperative that teachers have deep knowledge in the discipline itself. I am pleased to see that President Obama has made this point a priority with his new initiative."

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Ph.D.
American Chemical Society

Statement by the National Comission on Teaching & America's Future

"NCTAF applauds the announcement of the STEM Master Teacher Corps, an ambitious and heartening call to close the STEM achievement gap by leveraging the expertise of experienced teachers.  Our students need great teaching to help them become the skilled technicians, entrepreneurs, and innovators we need to thrive in the increasingly globalized community. To close our student achievement gap, we have to close our teaching quality gap. With this new program, the Administration is marshaling the resources the nation needs to reach this ambitious goal."

Statement by University of Washington College of Education

“If we want to increase the return on the considerable investments we’ve made to recruit and train beginning STEM teachers, we need creative ways to share best practices and provide the guidance and inspiration that are essential to keeping new teachers in the profession. To address the STEM education crisis, we’ve got to first solve the retention crisis—the MasterTeacher Corps is a tremendous step in this direction.”

Tom Stritikus
Professor and Dean
University of Washington College of Education

Statement by Opportunity Culture Initiative

“The STEM Master Teacher Corps will make a vital contribution to the goal of reaching every student with excellent teachers and building an opportunity culture in our nation's schools.”

Bryan Hassel
Opportunity Culture Initiative

Statement by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

"As a longtime advocate of STEM education, I applaud the President's plan. We have a STEM education crisis in this country and we must do something about it if we hope to compete in the 21st century global economy. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. will see over 1.2 million STEM jobs open up by the year 2018 yet there is a serious shortage of qualified college graduates to fill them. If we want those jobs to stay in the U.S., we must continue to invest in STEM education for our future workforce. The Committee has long been active in trying to improve STEM education in the U.S. Advancing STEM education was a major component of the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and its reauthorization in 2010. For teachers in particular, we expanded the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at the National Science Foundation to encourage more talented STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. Effective and inspiring teachers are essential to improving our students' participation and success in STEM subjects and I look forward to seeing how the Master Teacher Corps helps us meet this goal."

Statement by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

"These Master Teachers -10,000 strong within a few years - will be inspiring and shaping the next generation of young scientists and engineers. President Obama's innovative plan will help our nation win the future in science, technology and innovation."

California STEM Learning Network

"It is indisputable that STEM education is critical to our student’s success and our state’s leadership role as a global innovator. And the single most important factor in determining if a student will be successful is if she or he has a high quality teacher. This proposal will help California and the U.S. swiftly build a world-class STEM teaching workforce and is an instrumental investment in our economic future."

Change the Equation

"The good news is that the STEM Master Teacher initiative comes amidst a broad national focus on boosting the quality of STEM teaching. Last year, for example, the President announced the 100Kin10 initiative, which rallied more than 100 organizations (including Change the Equation) around the goal of bringing 100,000 excellent new STEM teachers into classrooms. None of these initiatives is easy, but we can’t face our biggest national challenges by making do with small-bore solutions."

Statement by The Science Coalition

"The Science Coalition welcomes this new initiative to bolster our STEM capabilities. Talented teachers and strong STEM-ed programs are an important part of America's innovation pipeline."

Bobby Dresser is a Student Volunteer at OSTP