Leading the STEM Challenge
Despite the flurry of campaign attack ads claiming candidates are either job killers or job creators, one thing remains clear: If the United States is to hold a competitive edge in a rapidly changing global workforce, bolstering the nation’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce is essential. It’s also essential that all students, no matter their gender, race or economic background, are provided the same access to quality STEM education and STEM jobs. And that access begins in America’s classrooms.
President Obama recently announced a plan to create 100,000 new STEM teacher positions to prepare students for the 2.7 million new jobs expected in those sectors by 2018. The President said that preparing this workforce is “going to make more of a difference in determining how well we do as a country than just about anything else that we do.” That’s why the National Education Association launched a $500,000 challenge grant that calls on leading business and technology companies to help us increase the number of certified science and math teachers. There’s a severe shortage, especially in low-income communities, and that needs to change.