At an awards ceremony last week, President Obama announced that, in partnership with more than 200 companies and nonprofits, the administration has raised an additional $28 million to help prepare more science, technology, engineering, and math teachers.
The funding is part of the “100kin10" initiative, which the president launched in 2011, aiming to recruit 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade. That initiative has already given out more than $53 million in grants to groups working to help strengthen the STEM teaching force. It’s also a piece of an even larger 5-year-old campaign known as “Educate to Innovate” that is meant to inspire boys and girls to pursue STEM fields.
Before presenting the winners of the National Medals of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, Obama said, "[H]alf of our nation’s high schools don’t offer calculus, and more than a third of our high schools don’t offer physics. So that’s why we’re going to need more science classes on the course schedule. That’s why we need teachers with math and science backgrounds—educators who can show their students how chemistry and computer science can open the door to a whole new world.”
The White House also said that Change the Equation, a coalition of business leaders focused on STEM education, has committed to expanding high-quality STEM programs to 1 million students by 2016.
The STEM speech was overshadowed by the president’s announcement the same night of an executive order that would protect 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.