Obama creates elite science, math teaching corps and seeks a billion to fund it

From the White House:

President Obama announced the creation of a new STEM teachers corps. (AJC)

President Obama announced the creation of a new STEM teachers corps. (AJC)

Today, the Obama Administration announced the President’s plan for the creation of a new, national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps comprised of some of the nation’s finest educators in STEM subjects. The STEM Master Teacher Corps will begin with 50 exceptional STEM teachers established in 50 sites and will be expanded over 4 years to reach 10,000 Master Teachers.

These selected teachers will make a multi-year commitment to the Corps and, in exchange for their expertise, leadership and service, will receive an annual stipend of up to $20,000 on top of their base salary. The Administration will launch this Teacher Corps with the $1 billion from the President’s 2013 budget request currently before Congress.

President Obama said, “If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible. Teachers matter, and great teachers deserve our support.”

Today, the Administration also announced that the President will immediately dedicate approximately $100 million of the existing Teacher Incentive Fund toward helping school districts implement high-quality plans to establish career ladders that identify, develop, and leverage highly effective STEM teachers. With an application deadline of July 27th, over 30 school districts across America have already signaled their interest in competing for funding to identify and compensate highly effective teachers who can model and mentor STEM instruction for their teaching peers, providing those teachers with additional compensation, recognition, and responsibilities in their schools.

These Administration plans build on a key recommendation of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), calling for a national STEM Master Teacher Corps to recognize and help retain America’s most talented STEM teachers, build a community of practice among them, raise the profile of the STEM teaching profession, and leverage excellent teachers to collaborate with their peers to strengthen STEM education in America’s public schools.

As part of the announcement, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. John Holdren, and PCAST Co-Chair Dr. Eric Lander will meet on Wednesday at the White House with outstanding math and science teachers to discuss efforts to strengthen teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and build up the STEM education profession.

Early in his Administration, President Obama called for a national effort to help move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement. The Obama Administration is committed to preparing young people both to learn deeply and think critically in STEM, and to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary for jobs in the high-growth fields that fuel American innovation.

Improving STEM teaching is a key strategy to reaching this national goal. To meet this critical need, PCAST issued the Prepare and Inspire report, with a key recommendation calling for the creation of a new, national STEM Master Teacher Corps. Master Teachers are classroom-based educators who are highly effective in improving learning outcomes for their students, model outstanding teaching, and share their practices and strategies with their professional colleagues to lead and guide improvements across education. Master teachers know and are deeply interested in their subject, care about improving their craft, and inspire both their students and fellow teachers. PCAST recommended that the STEM Master Teacher Corps become a national resource – a networked community of outstanding public school teachers of STEM subjects who can serve as resources to each other and to other educators in schools and communities nationwide, and who would signal the value of STEM education to America’s future.

In order to ensure America’s students are prepared for success in an increasingly competitive global economy, we must do more to ensure that teaching is highly respected and supported as a profession, and that accomplished, effective teachers are guiding students’ learning in every classroom. The Obama Administration’s 2013 budget includes a new, $5 billion program – the RESPECT Project, which stands for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching – that will boldly re-envision the teaching profession for the 21st Century. Today’s announcements build on the RESPECT project by supporting STEM master teachers as a key strategy to retain and reward our nation’s most accomplished STEM educators, and by enabling them to work in new ways to dramatically improve student achievement. Lifting up America’s teachers is critical to recruiting promising talent, retaining the best, and continuously improving outcomes for students.

The President will dedicate $1 billion from his 2013 budget request currently before Congress to launch a new, national STEM Master Teacher Corps.

As part of the RESPECT project, the STEM Master Teacher Corps will be supported by the U.S. Department of Education, and established in collaboration with independent, non-profit organizations and local public-private partnerships between STEM-related businesses and industries and school districts. Key parts of the plan include:

• A rigorous selection of the best and brightest math and science teachers from across the country: The STEM Master Teacher Corps will be established in 100 sites – each with 50 exceptional STEM teachers – and will be expanded over 4 years to reach 10,000 Master Teachers. Accomplished teachers will be selected for the STEM Master Teacher Corps through a highly competitive process, based on demonstrated effectiveness in teaching one or more STEM subjects, their content knowledge, and their contributions to the continuous improvement of teaching and learning both within their schools and across the community of STEM teachers. The selection process will be administered locally or regionally, but aligned to a set of national benchmarks.

• National recognition and rewards, including compensation to keep Corps members in the profession: STEM Master Teacher Corps members will benefit from a professional compensation structure that will make their profession more competitive with alternative careers, keeping the best teachers in the classrooms where they are needed. STEM Master Teacher Corps members will make a multi-year commitment to the Corps and, in exchange for their expertise, leadership and service, will receive an annual stipend of up to $20,000 on top of their base salary. This recognition further raises the prestige of the Corps members, enabling America’s classrooms to attract and secure the best talent in the STEM education profession.

• Corps members as a national resource, for their schools and for other STEM educators: STEM Master Teacher Corps members will be called to serve their profession and the nation, through an ongoing commitment to professional learning. They will build a community of teaching practice where they live, helping students excel in math and science while taking on leadership and mentorship roles in their schools and communities. Corps members will lead ongoing professional meetings and teacher development activities; assist their schools and school districts in evaluating and providing feedback to other teachers; and validate and disseminate effective practices to improve STEM instruction. They will participate in regular convenings to engage in professional development and share best practices; deepen their subject matter expertise; consult with experts in teaching and learning; and improve their instructional leadership and pedagogical content skills.

These efforts will be complemented as well by private sector responses to the President’s call for “all hands on deck” approach to excellence in STEM education, including Google’s commitment to convene education leaders and innovators to develop ideas to recognize, connect, and raise the profile of these STEM master teachers.

Today’s announcements align with the President’s belief that excellent STEM teaching requires both deep content knowledge and strong teaching skills, and his strong leadership in working to improve STEM education:

The President has announced an ambitious goal of preparing 100,000 additional STEM teachers over the next decade, with growing philanthropic and private sector support. This program would provide competitive awards to create or expand high-quality pathways to teacher certification and other innovative approaches for recruiting, training, and placing talented recent college graduates and mid-career professionals in the STEM fields in high-need schools. With the president’s leadership, over 115 organizations, led by Carnegie Corporation of New York and Opportunity Equation, came together to form the coalition “100Kin10” to help reach the President’s goal. These efforts have yielded a $22 million investment from philanthropic and private sectors toward helping to meet the President’s goal.

• Since 1983, the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program has served as the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Plans are underway to reconfigure PAEMST beyond its current scope to design new opportunities for PAEMST teachers to share their expertise and to continue to grow as professionals. Opportunities may include benefiting from NSF-sponsored international exchanges, collaborating with the research scientists and engineers funded by the NSF, and accessing scientific data and findings from NSF projects for use in their classrooms. These opportunities will allow PAEMST teachers to connect directly with NSF-funded science and education projects, so they can use the latest scientific findings, tools and data in their classrooms and with their colleagues, and even participate in frontier research. Additionally, NSF will help strengthen the cyber networks among the more than 4,000 PAEMST awardees over the past 29 years, and PAEMST awardees will have opportunities to serve as mentors and advisors to the next generation of STEM teachers. In the coming months, NSF will host a series of community forums for input in the design of these new components.

• The only competitive preference priority in the Race to the Top program was for states to develop a high quality plan to improve STEM education at the state level. All 12 awardees in the initial round of this $4 billion program earned points for this priority, and this emphasis was maintained through an additional $200M in funding to seven more states in Phase 3 of the Race to the Top competition.

• The Investing in Innovation (i3) program makes competitive awards to develop, validate, and scale up innovative programs, practices, and strategies that are effective in improving student outcomes. i3 has maintained a priority on promoting STEM education, to support innovative programs with evidence of impact from districts across the country. Next year, funds within i3 will also support the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education, which will foster breakthrough developments in educational technology and learning systems.

• In 2009, the President launched Educate to Innovate, a public-private partnership that brings together leading businesses, foundations, non-profits, and professional societies to improve STEM teaching and learning. As part of this effort, the President launched Change the Equation, a CEO-led effort to dramatically improve STEM education by mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of STEM education in the United States. This past February, Change the Equation announced that 24 member companies would expand five effective STEM programs in more than 130 new sites, benefiting nearly 40,000 students nationwide -over half of whom are in low-income schools.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

75 comments Add your comment

d

July 18th, 2012
8:43 am

I teach Social Studies – Economics to be specific. I help build citizens…. so whatever…. all that matters is STEM – even if the kids can’t communicate or think critically, it doesn’t matter, right, Mr. President?

TeacherofEnglish

July 18th, 2012
8:48 am

I agree D. This should be open to all teachers!

JR

July 18th, 2012
8:55 am

That’s only $100,000.00 per teacher.

Cindy

July 18th, 2012
8:55 am

I teach STEM and the issue isn’t the quality of STEM teachers. It’s that our students do not accept responsibility for their own learning. With most of my students, I’m pushing a rope and they aren’t taking up the slack. Until we start holding our students accountable for learning you can spend all the money you want on teacher but you will get no results.

We do not have a shortage of STEM teachers. I left engineering to teach chemistry, physics and math, because I believed there was a shortage, only to find that there were, at least, half a dozen candidates for every position I applied for and that school districts don’t like to hire people with actual degrees in science. They prefer ed majors with general science certs because they can teach any science grades 6-12. Someone who can only teach chemistry and physics is undesirable because they can only teach chemistry and physics. Schools choose scheduling ease over subject matter expertise, which is why I will be returning to engineering next year instead of teaching. I’m neither needed or wanted so please quit lying and telling us there’s a shortage of STEM teachers or that quality of STEM teachers is teh issue. Neither is true.

dekalbite

July 18th, 2012
8:58 am

The future jobs are in STEM. We are global competitors. I’m a history major, but this is not where the jobs are in today’s world.

still love to teach...

July 18th, 2012
9:05 am

I agree; this should be open to all teachers. At this point, I think he is just doing whatever he thinks he needs to do to get elected. In my opinion, we need to be trusted to do what we know how to do. The problem is that too many opinions/programs have been initiated by people who have no training in education. Everyone is an ‘expert’ when it comes to education. Throwing money at new programs every time someone has an idea is wasteful and not getting us anywhere. Why not use this money to incorporate more technology into schools…that is the future for all students. How many of us are trying to tell doctors, lawyers, etc. how to do their jobs? Random thoughts, I know; I am just totally frustrated with our government’s interference into something they don’t have a lot of knowledge about.

t

July 18th, 2012
9:17 am

While i support getting more kids involved with STEM, more money is probably not the answer. http://mat.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/us-schools-vs-international3.jpg

marie smith

July 18th, 2012
9:26 am

Obama on education is so bad I could almost vote Republican….but I don’t want to be poor. This plan assumes that the problem is teachers. There is no evidence that the problem is teachers. In any case, teachers don’t control anything at all in public school – they don’t choose textbooks, they don’t make curriculum, they don’t design tests, and most of the time they don’t even get to decide how to teach. Furthermore, if we are going to reward excellent teachers, why aren’t we paying more to teachers in the primary grades, where a child’s educational fate is shown – by actual, gasp, research – to be determined? How about teachers in primary grades, in low-income schools? Or better yet, instead of throwing money at the problem in ways there is no evidence will be effective, let’s just let teachers do their jobs for a change and see if that helps.

HS Math Teacher

July 18th, 2012
9:29 am

How can we expect students to process information logically, and utilize high-level critical thinking skills when some of our education leaders & legislators make policy decisions that NEGATIVELY affect teaching & learning?

Ashley

July 18th, 2012
9:32 am

@still love to teach…..you are absolutely right, turning the classroom into a haven of bureaucrats is what got education in trouble in the first place.

Brenda

July 18th, 2012
9:35 am

As a high school math teacher with 30 years experience, I agree that part of the problem in education is that students do not take responsibility for their own learning. If a student is failing my class, I must document that I offered tutoring, contacted parents, and retested. I do not mind tutoring, reteaching and retesting a student if they are really trying, but students who do not do their homework get that same opportunity as the hard working students. School districts also keep teachers who are awful because it is too hard to get rid of bad teachers. I get to school at 6:15 am every morning (school starts at 7:30) and do not leave until 5 pm. I aslo work many hours at home. I also sponsor Mu Alpha Theta ( No stipend). I love working with students and seeing their success. Many of my students keep in contact after they leave high school and go to college.

Part of the reason we test lower than other countries in math and science is that we test everyone in the US and in other countries they only test their elite students. Not every student is going to college, but we set up curriculum as if all are going to major universities.

I want to know how they will tell if a teacher qualifies for the extra money. I teach honor students and they all perform at high levels. All my students taking AP tests pass those tests. My students taking state tests all perform at the highest level. Does that make me a better teacher than the teacher next door whose students are not honor students do not score as well as my students on state tests?

We are in need of a math teacher at our school, but they are only looking at teachers who can also coach. Administrators want great results in academics, but sports are more important.

Tony

July 18th, 2012
9:39 am

I taught chemistry and physics before becoming a school principal. My biggest concerns regarding the teaching of math and science, as currently being pushed, is the OVEREMPHASIS on the subjects. Pushing every student into so-called rigorous courses will ultimately water down the quality of the content in those courses because, believe it or not, some students are not cut out to be in those classes. They is NO reason to push every student into these tracks because there is not a national need for every student to be a STEM expert. There are not enough jobs for our current graduates in these fields.

Policy makers in our state and many others have failed the students in our schools in these subjects already. Not the teachers. In Georgia, resources (translated money) have been taken away from our teachers. They are not able to purchase equipment and supplies to conduct appropriate hands-on laboratories. Yet, we are hearing once again that our teachers need to do a better job. Our POLITICIANS need to do a better job of putting the money where it needs to go – back in the education budget.

It is so sad to see our public schools being robbed of resources then blamed for every thing that comes along.

Mikey D.

July 18th, 2012
9:40 am

Something tells me that the extra pay for these STEM teachers would quickly go the way of the additional pay for the national board certified teachers. Sorry, but Obama has been every bit as bad for education as Bush was. It’s a shame that we have such a lack of true leadership when it comes to education.

Elizabeth

July 18th, 2012
9:50 am

Always math and science. Kids today can’t read well, write well, or communicate well. Without those skills nothing can be accomplished. Yet there is no money for these. Other disciplines are as important, if not more so, than math and science. But by the time we realize this, it will be too late. I am sick of it. And if those teachers get extra money, then they can do the extra work– team leader, dept. chair, club sponsor, leadership team, etc. They make the big bucks. Let them earn it. I ‘m done.

still love to teach...

July 18th, 2012
9:50 am

Sometimes I think we as teachers are blamed because we are easy targets. We are easy targets because we have been passive; we are nice people and just want to be left alone to do our jobs. BUT….now that we are being accused of being bad and causing children to fail, a sleeping giant has awakened. Yes, there are teachers who need to ‘go away’, but there are many more who are excellent at what they do. Give the reins back to us and see if we can turn things around; it couldn’t hurt. In fact, we might actually be able to actually pull it off. Nothing or no one else seems to know what to do. Is anyone willing to give us a chance? Our college professors had confidence in us; our mentor teachers had confidence in us (while we were their student teachers). It seems those who know about education have confidence in us, just not the people who are arrogant and think they know everything. For example, Bill Gates is brilliant and knows computers, but education? Not so much.

still love to teach...

July 18th, 2012
10:03 am

@Elizabeth…Exactly! If a student can’t read, they can’t do the math. As I tell my students, reading is your ticket to the world; if you can read, you can do anything! Writing is important as well; too many students only know how to text…but that is another can of worms!

Skeptic Teacher

July 18th, 2012
10:07 am

@Cindy,

I agree that there is not a SHORTAGE of STEM teachers. Once you have certification in English, all you have to do is squeak a passing grade on the science and math GACE tests and now you can teach math and science, too.

Is it possible that we lack QUALITY STEM teacher? Heck, yeah. I’m really sorry to hear you are going back to engineering, especially because we need teachers that can actually teach scientific content accurately and convey how the processes behind how this knowledge came to be. Sorry, but ELA/SS teachers who are posing as STEM teachers just to get a job without knowing their stuff don’t count as “quality STEM teachers”.

Skeptic Teacher

July 18th, 2012
10:15 am

Before the ELA folks bring fire down on me… I see the typos :) See why I don’t and shouldn’t teach ELA subjects?

By the way, I should add that I’m not knocking non-STEM subjects. If you can’t read, don’t understand the historical context of scientific discoveries, do basic math, or write, you won’t do well in STEM subjects and careers.

I also agree with another poster who said that not every student should be taking chemistry, physics, or engineering classes. There are students who are just not interested in STEM subjects or careers, which is okay. I’ve always wondered, after middle school where you get exposure to the basics, that everyone needs to get into the nitty-gritty in high school chemistry. Until that is changed though, I stand by my assertion that a teacher that knows their stuff is better than someone who just knew enough (or studied enough) to pass a cert test for a job.

Another Math Teacher

July 18th, 2012
10:21 am

still love to teach… : “If a student can’t read, they can’t do the math.”

Entirely false.

still love to teach...

July 18th, 2012
10:26 am

another math teacher…I teach both subjects and if students are unable to read, they are unable to read the word problems and work them without help. CRCT math is word problems.

Brenda

July 18th, 2012
10:33 am

As a math teacher, I also want my students to read and analyze problems. If my students in my Statistics class can not read or write they will not be successful in my class. I also like to see my students involved in the arts and/or sports. We need to raise salaries of all teachers and get rid of bad teachers. Teachers should also have imput on how to implement the curriculum in their school with their students. We also need to quit watering down the curriculum.

ElemPrin

July 18th, 2012
10:40 am

So while we are reducing the number teaching positions, increasing class size, taking furlough days, and holding spending to $0, we are going to pay some teachers an additional $20,000? That should do wonders for the school culture! (sarcasm font!)

The way I figure it, if they would pay my NBCT supplement and this additional $20,000, I will go back to teaching science. It would pay more than being an administrator.

CTE Instructor

July 18th, 2012
10:52 am

First of all, 100 million is a pittance. Our government has no problem spending almost a trillion a year on the military budget, but education? This the best we can do? NCLB, besides badly flawed concept, was underfunded. It set schools up for failure. The Race to the Top incentive is only an accountability instrument of teachers that does not give them resources they need. In short, teachers are yet again required to do more with less.

Second, while STEM disciplines are important, I am concerned this government-backed incentive will raise a brain trust elite for technology advancements whose ultimate purpose will be exploited for military purposes. If you think I am an alarmist, reread my first paragraph on the amount of money the government spends on the military vs. education.

Without equal emphasis of other core disciplines, future technology developed by a generation of STEM gradates could be void of moral and social content that comes from a well-rounded education.

Finally, the whole concept inadvertently treats students who pursue other subjects as being second-class to those who pursue an strictly STEM career, as well as those teachers who instruct those subjects.

high school teacher

July 18th, 2012
10:55 am

Being highly qualified in math and science does not translate into being a highly qualified math and science teacher. You can graduate at the top of the school of engineering, but if you can’t relate with kids, you are no more effective than someone teaching math and science out of field.

BTW, science certifications have changed. They are now moving to areas of specialty – you must pass the GACE in certain areas (biology, environmental, etc).

t

July 18th, 2012
11:02 am

CTE Instructor: You did see the graph i posted above right? We spend more in total money and per student than any country in the world, yet we are middle of the pack in results. I’m not smart enough to know exactly what to change, but i can tell you money isn’t the problem. We have continued to increase education spending in the past few decades and results are stagnant if not worsening for many metrics.

Another Math Teacher

July 18th, 2012
11:14 am

still love to teach…: “another math teacher…I teach both subjects and if students are unable to read, they are unable to read the word problems and work them without help. CRCT math is word problems.”

That is not what you said. If you are teaching English then you know…words mean things.

I’ve had students that could not read above second grade level. Some of them are very capable in Math, including word problems that are spoken. They can, in fact, ‘do the math.’

“they are unable to read the word problems and work them without help.”

Of course they can not read them – that’s the definition of being unable to read. Working them is a very different thing. If they can not work them without help, it’s not reading, it’s desire. There are many illiterate people that can do Math at a very reasonable level. Literacy makes it easier to learn (and helps the teacher teach,) but it is not a prerequisite.

Larken McCord

July 18th, 2012
11:19 am

As the comments above reveal, one of the most insidious effects of initiatives such as this one is that it pits disciplines against disciplines, teachers against one another. This is just plain stupid in so many ways. Simply put, that’s not the way the world works; humans are interdisciplinary.

I’m an English teacher, and I’m currently sitting in a conference room at Georgia Tech, learning about computer programming. (Technically, we’re on a break. Don’t fuss.) Why am I here? Well, my goal is to help my students be literate, in all the senses of the word. I don’t need to be able to teach them to program, per se, but the tools are out there for me to integrate some very cool, relevant computing ideas into my English classes. The same would be true for history, art, PE, criminal justice – everything.

We need experts, of course. And we need colleagues who can be resources for the rest of us. But rather than give a select few $20,000, why not give 20 of us a thousand bucks to collaborate, and learn how to integrate the “critical needs” of STEM into the rest of the day?

Big sums of money are flashy and all that, but it seems that there are so many more effective ways of enhancing not only STEM education but also teaching as a profession.

bu2

July 18th, 2012
11:27 am

A billion dollars. Shouldn’t this be titled, “President Obama waits for a budget fairy.”

Pride and Joy

July 18th, 2012
11:27 am

I read the post and I didn’t see clarity on this point: will the STEM teachers actually teach the kids or will they pull the STEM teachers out of the classroom to teach other teachers?
I’m all for giving STEM teachers, really good STEM teachers 20K more but not for teaching teachers — for teaching kids.

Rick L in ATL

July 18th, 2012
11:28 am

“Hey, creating class warfare works so well for us, let’s try it in the public schools too!”

I just love the idea of obamacrats trying to gauge which teachers with which paper-mill degrees from which second-rate schools of education should get the extra $20k, so that they can be ostracized by the really good teachers in that school who didn’t have the right bogus paper (and well-connected educrat friends) and therefore didn’t get the stipend. Yeah, the “master” teachers will really be able to spread their “accumulated wisdom” to their base-salaried colleagues, because those lower paid employees won’t be the LEAST bit resentful.

This could never work unless it were the product of a stringent new teacher-evaluation system which evaluated the WHOLE teacher using ALL possible mechanisms (including extensive videotaping, and parent-review panels, and outside experts forming a team) and then rewarded teachers for their actual expertise, not their easily-padded “credentials” and personal connections…. but true to form, the Obama team has come up with only half a plan.

Go ahead and write off the $1billion, assuming a budget ever gets passed and Obama retains the White House. Of course, those are not assumptions I’m willing to make…

D C

July 18th, 2012
11:41 am

Another total waste of money we do not have being spent by an incompetent fool.

A Teacher, 2

July 18th, 2012
11:44 am

For all of those who regularly post about “throwing money around” on this blog, here you have it. How many manager-type bureaucrats will be needed to implement the $1B program? Most of the money will go for administration of the dollars. This is exactly why the Federal Government has no business in education.

A Teacher, 2

July 18th, 2012
11:46 am

Oh, and for those that do not wish to be confused with the facts: This is not the teachers fault. No teacher has proposed this. It is likely that very few classroom teachers will ever benefit.

CCMST

July 18th, 2012
11:47 am

Instead of money, I’d be happier if someone could get my science classes back to the NSTA-recommended size of 24 from 35+…that would work wonders for me.

Pardon My Blog

July 18th, 2012
11:49 am

@bu – Exactly. Obama thinks that if he throws the proverbial “bone” to a certain sector they will blindly follow him in the hopes that they might actually have a piece of the action. Then, if he is re-elected, there will be no billion dollars forthcoming and it will be somebody elses fault. A lot of promises, no substance and sadly for our country, no understanding of how the ecomomy, much less a business, actually works!

Laurie Rogers

July 18th, 2012
11:57 am

Hmm. What is that, $100,000 per vote? I mean, per teacher?

Diana

July 18th, 2012
12:07 pm

Hey, you know what? The schools in this country SUCK. I am so desperately depressed by our schools that for awhile I quit voting because there was no point. I voted for the Florida Lottery because it was supposed to bring so much money to our schools that we would have the BEST in the whole world. And what happened? The **&^%$$ politicians decided that for every dollar the lottery brought in, the schools didn’t need a government dollar. So the schools were right back where they started, and went downhill from there.

ANYTHING the government is willing to do to help the schools is something I am all for. Will it actually happen? No way to tell, because promises so often aren’t kept. Even when a politician wants to keep his promises, he (yeah yeah or she) has to run the gauntlet of all the other politicians and who’s scratching their backs. What we really need is a way to get better teachers into the schools and more of them so the ones we have can do a better job. But the politicians would rather spend everything on the military because that’s where the kick backs are – from the weapons manufacturers.

Don’t complain because helping math and science isn’t enough. It isn’t. But at least it’s a place to start. At least if we can help math and science do better maybe more will follow.

hssped

July 18th, 2012
12:09 pm

The STEM teachers that get the stipend will be APS teachers and then they will leave and run “workshops” for other teachers. All will probably have their online EdD. Whatever.

Brenda

July 18th, 2012
12:45 pm

I would love to see a fair teacher evaluation system. This year not one administrator came to my room to see that I was doing my job. They did walk in to check that I had posted my objectives for the day. I still received an “exceeds expectations” on my evaluation. Math and science teachers do not work any harder than other teachers, but we are the teachers that are constantly told we do not prepare our students to succeed in the real world. Give all teachers a pay raise and you will attract quality teachers.

Jacob W

July 18th, 2012
12:47 pm

Just wrote about this on my blog. Really important step in the right direction–we need to be rewarding and highlighting our best teachers.

http://skepticspolitics.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/obamas-elite-stem-teacher-corps-a-step-in-the-right-direction/

Jacob

http://www.twitter.com/skepticspol

[...] Obama creates elite science, math teaching corps and seeks a billion to fund it  -  Today, the Obama Administration announced the President’s plan for the creation of a new, national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps comprised of some of the nation’s finest educators in STEM subjects. (Atlanta Journal Constitution) [...]

high school teacher

July 18th, 2012
1:02 pm

So, Jacob W, you’re saying that the best teachers only teach math, science, technology, or engineering? Be careful! ;)

Pride and Joy

July 18th, 2012
1:59 pm

A billion dollars.
Wow.
A billion dollars to teach teachers what they should already know.
Just wow.

HS Math Teacher

July 18th, 2012
2:18 pm

We are just going to grind every math teacher into the ground trying to teach EVERY KID the common core math curriculum. When I say EVERY….think for a minute…. get my point?

“The world needs ditch diggers too.” – Judge Smails – Caddyshack (1980)

Board Certified Teacher

July 18th, 2012
2:20 pm

National Board Certification was developed — and supported by states — in order to keep the best, most qualified teachers in the classroom by making it financially feasible for us to support our families on a teacher’s salary. Florida was #2 in the nation in teachers earning Board Certification. Once more teachers became Board Certified, the state backed off, and took away the funding. I see it as snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. There is no way to become Board Certified unless you actually know your subject. In order to pass the Board Certification exams, you have to know your subject down to the ground. Florida also wants to end extra pay for advanced degrees, saying they don’t really make a difference. It is impossible to teach something effectively if you don’t understand it yourself. We are in the business of education, yet our “leaders” say that our own education should not be seen as significant. Teachers are being demonized and blamed for everything that is wrong in society. Removing student and parent responsibility for learning from the equation is like saying that if police were really doing their jobs, all crime would end.

3schoolkids

July 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

“As part of the RESPECT project, the STEM Master Teacher Corps will be supported by the U.S. Department of Education, and established in collaboration with independent, non-profit organizations and local public-private partnerships between STEM-related businesses and industries and school districts.”

More federal dollars to non-profit lobbying firms who will lobby for more federal funds. How about FULLY funding all federally mandated education programs first?

Mitchel Eisenstein

July 18th, 2012
3:11 pm

In order to think critically, STEM is necessary, so its not dissing English teachers, but I can understand that other teachers should not be left out.

Mitchel Eisenstein

July 18th, 2012
3:16 pm

In Stony Brook NY, the three village school district budget is approximately 200 million dollars for 5000 children. at a density of 25 children per teacher thats 200 teachers in the district. thats 1 million dollars per teacher. Is that enough?

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

July 18th, 2012
3:20 pm

Personally, if I were offered that extra $20,000, I would have a hard time accepting it. Why? Because I have been in the trenches long enough to know there are MANY excellent teachers out there who will never make that bonus due to issues beyond their control. Frankly, I could not justify accepting such a high bonus knowing that. I realize that kind of thinking is completely foreign to some of you…but maybe that is why I am a teacher.

What I would prefer is that the money be spent in ways that benefit ALL teachers and ALL students. Invest in alternative schools for children with discipline issues – schools targeted specifically to address the needs of such children and their families– very small class sizes, counselors, strong behavior modification programs, parental training, remedial classes, etc. Give those children a chance to turn themselves around and become productive members of society BEFORE they become a burden, either by being uneducated and unemployable, or through incarceration. This would also benefit teachers and all the other students who would have the disruptive influence removed from their classrooms.

It really does not matter how good a STEM teacher you are, if little Johnny is busy throwing his desk across your room, your impact is going to be muted.

Technology Teacher with a passion to help all

July 18th, 2012
3:20 pm

Check out this Blog concerning education what do you think of the program being discussed, post your comments and concerns at JSeven.Org. Thank you.