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Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2007) The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), in conjunction with the U.S. Senate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Caucus, will host a Congressional Briefing on June 21, 2007 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. entitled, “Preparing STEM Teachers: The Key to Global Competitiveness”, in 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C.
Lisa M. Suarez-Carabello (OH) and Valdine McLean (NV), two exemplary secondary STEM teachers, will share their successes in the classroom and provide recommendations to policymakers on how to address the critical shortage of effective STEM teachers. Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University will provide an overview of how other nations invest in the preparation of their STEM teachers in order to sustain a competitive economy. Robin Willner of IBM will provide a business perspective on the critical need for effective STEM teachers to educate our nation’s future workforce. Willner will profile IBM’s “Transition to Teaching” program, a public-private partnership established to recruit IBM employees to serve as educators in the fields of math and science. And Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE, will serve as moderator.
Suarez-Caraballo teaches in the bilingual program (Grades 6-8) at Luis Muñoz Marin School, a high-poverty urban school in the Cleveland Municipal School District. She spent the first eight years of her education career as a bilingual instructional aide. For the past 14 years she’s been a mathematics classroom teacher, including three years as a middle school math resource teacher. Suarez-Caraballo is a member of the Cleveland Teachers Union and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2000. She has been a NASA Educator Astronaut Teacher since 2003, and in 2005 she was named a Milken National Educator of the Year. Among other leadership projects, she worked with Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to initiate a middle school math competition and led professional development sessions so other schools in the district could participate. The Cleveland Browns recognized Suarez-Caraballo as a Community Hero in 2002. She received her masters (curriculum and instruction and urban education) and bachelors (mathematics) degree from Cleveland State University.
“I am very pleased that STEM education has garnered such significant attention in the Congress,” says Suarez-Caraballo. “I hope Congress will expand programs, such as the Math and Science partnerships in the Department of Education and NSF and the Teacher Quality Enhancement grants of Title II of HEA. These are three examples of programs that contribute to the quantity and quality of STEM teachers.”