Congressional Briefing on Preparing STEM Teachers

From: The University of Kentucky
GRC staff attended a Congressional briefing on June 21, 2007, sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the U.S. Senate, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Caucus. The purpose of this meeting was twofold. First it was designed to make Congress aware of the shortage of STEM teachers in every state across the country, at a time when the next generation of STEM teachers will be relied on to meet the critical challenges the U.S. faces in relation to global competitiveness. The second purpose of the meeting was to introduce lawmakers to exemplary secondary STEM teachers, several of whom gave testimony related to their successes in the classroom. The point was made more than once that implementation of No Child Left Behind legislation must focus on the quality of teacher preparation rather than maintaining its current focus on student test scores. Valdine McLean (NV) and Lisa M. Suarez-Carabello (OH), two exemplary secondary STEM teachers, shared their successes in the classroom and provided recommendations to policymakers on how to address the critical shortage of effective STEM teachers. Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University provided an overview of how other nations invest in the preparation of their STEM teachers in order to sustain a competitive economy. And Robin Willner of IBM provided a business perspective on the critical need for effective STEM teachers to educate the U.S.’s future workforce.

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