Nevada Teacher to Testify During AACTE’s Congressional Briefing on “Preparing STEM Teachers: The Key to Global Competitiveness”

Jade Floyd,
or 202.478.4596

Washington, D.C. (June 20, 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.

Valdine McLean (NV) and Lisa M. Suarez-Carabello (OH), 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.

McLean teaches Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and General Unified Science 10-12 at Pershing County High School in Nevada. An 18-year teacher veteran, McLean taught for four years in an urban setting before moving to this high-poverty rural school. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and was Nevada’s 2001 Teacher of the Year. McLean is president of her county teacher association and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching for Nevada in 1998. In 2001, McLean was named Nevada’s Milken National Educator of the Year and was the first recipient of the Horace Mann NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. Among a myriad of leadership activities, she is a member of the Teacher Advisory Council for the National Academy of Science, a past president of the Nevada Science Teachers Association, and a local Girl Scout troop leader.

“A high quality, highly effective teacher is someone who uses a variety of instructional methods, tools, and technology to meet the needs of diverse learners and to prepare them with global skills,” said McLean. “They engage and motivate students to participate in the instructional experiences and uses a variety of assessments to measure student learning and success. They collaborate with other educators to improve the profession and themselves. And, they have the ability to assess their effectiveness of instructional approaches and curricular materials to make modifications for improvement.”

“It is well known that the country’s ability to succeed in the global economy is lagging and that we are losing our unrivaled edge in mathematics, science, and innovation to competitor nations. The 16 percent annual turnover rates of both math and science teachers is the highest of all fields. Shortages of qualified math and science teachers exist in most states and districts across the country. Thus unprepared teachers are assigned to teach math or science ‘out of field’,” says Sharon Robinson, Ed.D.

AACTE will release its publication, “Preparing STEM Teachers: The Key to Global Competitiveness”, at the breifing which highlights more than 50 teacher preparation programs across the country dedicated to increasing the number of effective K-12 STEM educators.

“AACTE surveyed its members in an effort to discover their unique efforts to prepare STEM teachers. Unlike the field of medicine, where federal funds support medical schools to create preparation programs in high-need fields, no such program exists for preparing teachers. AACTE has developed this briefing and new publication to address the dire need to prepare more qualified math and science educators and recognize the best practices at colleges of education across the country,” she concluded.

For an EMBARGOED copy of this report, speaker testimony prior to the briefing or to schedule an interview please contact Jade Floyd at

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