Feds on track to train 100K STEM teachers despite lag halfway

Federal officials report 30,000 new STEM teachers have been trained, with commitments now in place to reach the 100,000 goal set by Obama.

Corinne Lestch
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Corinne Lestch Education staff reporter - EdScoop, FedScoop and StateScoop

Corinne Lestch is a staff reporter covering education for EdScoop and its affiliate public sector technology news websites, FedScoop and StateScoop...

President Obama checks out a project during the first White House Science Fair in 2010. (White House)

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a goal of having 100,000 new STEM teachers in classrooms around the country by 2021.

Now, halfway into the decade-long period, federal officials report they aren't yet halfway there: About 30,000 new teachers have been trained so far.

But Tuesday, White House officials said they have the commitments from private companies and other partnerships, with the help of 100Kin10, a network of STEM organizations, to train another 70,000 teachers by the 10-year mark.

100Kin10, which was co-founded by Talia Milgrom-Elcott, has rounded up about 280 organizations – including museums, nonprofits, universities, corporations, government agencies and school districts – that have allocated resources to grow the teaching force in high-demand subjects.

"It's one thing to train teachers and get them into classrooms," Milgrom-Elcott said during an interview with EdScoop for a story about the announcement. "It's another thing to make meaningful progress against longstanding systemic challenges that have made it so hard for so long, and that has to be the work beyond just the teachers."

The Education Department also announced new Teacher Impact Grants, which will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for teachers to strengthen their professional development. The funds are being provided by the Helmsley Charitable Trust and Carnegie Corporation of New York, for which Milgrom-Elcott used to work.

Microsoft also announced that it will renew its financial commitment to the TEACH program led by the Education Department and the technology company. Microsoft will offer $3 million over two years to reach college students about teaching careers.

Facebook is also offering pro-bono creative work and donated media on its platform to reach recent college graduates about possible jobs, and college planning platform MyCollege Options will attempt to target high school and university students who have expressed interest in becoming teachers.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that Microsoft will offer $3 million over two years to reach college students about STEM careers. The company is reaching out to students about teaching careers.

Reach the reporter at corinne.lestch@edscoop.com and follow her on Twitter @clestch and @edscoop_news.

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Education IT News, STEM

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