On Tuesday, May 3 the U.S. celebrated Teachers’ Day, a day set aside to honor our nation’s educators.
This year was a particularly special Teachers’ Day as President Barack Obama announced the addition of 30,000 newly trained STEM teachers into the U.S. education system. This marks a milestone for the 100Kin10 Network which was launched in response to President Obama’s initiative in 2011 to add 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021.
100Kin10 is a network of corporations, schools, and nonprofits who are dedicated to achieving this goal - which is vital as the need for STEM education becomes ever more prevalent. With partners in all fifty states, the network has collectively pledged $90 million towards the training, development, and support of these new teachers.
The encouraging news comes none too soon. STEM talent in the education field is lacking as fewer and fewer students with STEM degrees aspire to join the teaching profession. Of the 1.8 million students who took the ACT in 2014, only 5,500 had plans to become a math or science teacher.
Despite the effort to train 100,000 new STEM teachers, current educators are concerned that the initiative won’t be enough. Getting new teachers in the classroom is one thing. Retaining them however, is a completely different challenge. Experts cite low pay, lack of administrative support, and standardized testing as factors which pull qualified STEM teachers away from education.
We at STEM Premier applaud the efforts of 100Kin10 and we are proud to be doing our part to help put STEM in the spotlight.