Stakeholders say congressional funding necessary for teacher retention

From: Education Daily
Math and science teachers need not only good preparation before they get in the classroom but also mentoring and support that follow them into the first few years of teaching. That was the key message of stakeholders last week at a packed briefing sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Senate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Caucus. “Induction, induction, induction,” said Valdine McLean, a high school science teacher at Pershing County (Nev.) High School. “I cannot say enough about the importance of not leaving new teachers alone to flounder in their first few years of teaching.” Stakeholders said congressional funding for induction is particularly crucial to retaining teachers in the STEM fields where students are more likely to be taught by out-of-field teachers. “Out-of-assignment teaching is at epidemic proportions,” said Sharon Robinson, AACTE president. Thursday’s panel coincided with AACTE’s annual Day on the Hill, during which more than 160 teacher college deans and faculty members from 30 states met with their congressional delegations to share success stories of how their institutions improved STEM teacher preparation. Their lobbying comes at a crucial time. House and Senate appropriators appear to be considering less money for teacher preparation grants in the Higher Education Act that include induction programs and partnerships