California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed to eliminate the requirement for all high-school students to take a second year of science to graduate in an attempt to offer more financial flexibility to school districts. However, the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) has called for greater investment in science teachers as a way to achieve greater competitiveness.
KSTF, the national advocate for improving high school level math and science teaching in the United States, has asked the candidates to consider a radical shift in U.S. education policy to ensure our nation's excellence in STEM subjects, which have, in recent years, struggled with a reputation of being too difficult.
KSTF wants to see more investment in the support and development of new teachers, an inspired recruiting high-achieving graduates into the field and improve the conditions and sustainability of beginning teachers' work in order to retain them in the profession.
Dr. Nicole Gillespie, Director for Teaching Fellowships, Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, said:
"Time and time again we hear about the dire need for improving STEM education in the U.S., yet exceptional beginning math and science teachers remain at much greater risk of leaving the profession than other teachers.
"There is simply no way to improve STEM education without supporting excellent STEM teachers. We call on all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, to take up this important issue during the election."
The KSTF is strongly advocating the need for high-quality teachers who have the talent, training and commitment to help students attain STEM skills in our society. This comes as President Obama has driven to both better educate undergraduates in STEM and increase the number of students graduating with degrees in these fields. The move has been backed by the American Chemical Society, who see the support as critical.
Dr. Gillespie said:
"Political leaders who are looking for examples of what can be accomplished by exemplary, committed STEM teachers should look no further than the KSTF Fellows.
"The Fellows' work is testament to the fact that commitment to training and supporting the best and brightest young men and women to become master STEM teachers is a critical step towards creating a new generation of math- and science-literate citizens."