Obama administration announces STEM teacher corps
Secretary Arne Duncan and the U.S. Dept. of Education plan to identify leading STEM teachers for a new national corps.
July 18th, 2012
03:16 PM ET

Obama administration announces STEM teacher corps

By Jordan Bienstock, CNN

(CNN)– President Obama’s administration has announced plans for a national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps. The effort is part of the administration’s plan to recruit, recognize and reward leading educators in these fields.

Plans are for the STEM Master Corps to begin with 2,500 members  - 50 teachers from each of 50 different sites - and then expand to 10,000 master teachers within four years. The Department of Education said it will work with nonprofit organizations, along with business partners and school districts, to identify teachers for the Corps through a competitive selection process.

Membership will require a multi-year commitment from educators, who will receive up to $20,000 in compensation above their base salary, as well as other rewards. In return, these teachers will be required to offer their expertise and leadership to promote and expand STEM education.

Administration officials say STEM Master Corps members will develop new lesson plans and strategies to improve science and math teaching. They will also run mentor programs for fellow STEM teachers and lead professional development programs.

Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said Republicans share President Obama’s goal of recruiting better teachers, but he raised concerns about funding an initiative that may duplicate current programs.

“A 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identified 82 existing teacher quality programs,” said Alexandra Sollberger, Chairman Kline’s spokesperson. “Many of the programs overlap, and little effort has been made to determine whether the programs were actually effective.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), a former science teacher, applauded the announcement of the STEM Master Teacher Corps.

“I know how important investing in STEM education is to our nation’s future,” Rep. Honda told CNN. He said that through initiatives like this one, “we are building a firm foundation of technologically literate and skilled Americans ready to continue American innovation and excellence.”

White House officials plan to launch the STEM Master Teacher Corps with $1 billion from President Obama’s 2013 budget request, which is currently before Congress.

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Filed under: Policy • STEM • Teachers
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. this

    Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your website accidentally, and I'm shocked why this coincidence didn't took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  2. Bruce

    Just more peanuts for education, another car was to fund science, math and all education. Americans will never get serious about paying for education and thus public education will continue to spiral down.

    July 20, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  3. the truth

    So it's our fault that blacks and mexicans don't like education? ok

    July 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • L Randolph

      Are you a teacher? If you are please leave the profession because you are not what our kids need.

      July 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  4. Kristi

    My husband teaches Technology Education, which is the old Wood shop. Everything is now very computerized in these fields. Our students need all the help in science and math we can give them, including those in the trades! He now teaches robotics as well because building has expanded beyond wood, metals and cars. I am interested to see where this will lead!

    July 19, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  5. Chief Technology Mommy

    We must immerse our children in STEM education in creative ways, before high school. Playing it safe, sticking with the basics, and yearly science fairs aren't going to cut it if we want our children to compete. I just happened to "stumble" into the field of technology, and it opened my life to endless opportunities and playing it safe was not an element.   Our children don't have to stumble into STEM, but walk willingly into it.
The days of standing in front of a room lecturing for hours are over...Science, Math, Engineering and Technology are fun, and it should be introduced that way.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Physics Man

      Didn't President Obama talk about doing this during the last election cycle?

      July 25, 2012 at 3:32 am |
  6. infomantle

    That was then, and this is now. How you choose to spell "now" can be another conversation. Suffice it to say that along with some of the other good things that are in fact happening in education, this could be big. We're not there yet, case you hadn't noticed.

    July 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  7. Colleen

    What ever happened to courses like wood shop, auto shop, sewing and home economics?

    These are some of the high school courses that jump started the middle class in minority communities.

    July 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Ray

      Wood shop? Sewing? Seriously??? It looks like you missed (entirely) the point of the article!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm |