For Immediate Release - March 01, 2011

Massachusetts to Serve as a National Model for Stem Education Initiatives

Patrick-Murray Administration's leadership and long-term planning lauded

BOSTON - Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray today announced that Massachusetts will serve as a national model for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education initiatives as national organizations look to further implement STEM education programming in schools across the country. Joined by the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, Innovate + Educate, an education partnership organization, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Patrick-Murray Administration this afternoon that will make Massachusetts the first of many states for these groups to work with in the coming year.

"Massachusetts is honored to answer the call to serve as a national model for building successful partnerships between education and industry," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Our ability to build and maintain a strong economy is directly linked to our ability to educate our students and employing powerful partnerships is critical to that work."

"The STEM fields in Massachusetts are contributing to a thriving local economy and a vibrant education system," said Lieutenant Governor Murray, who chairs the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "Through the work of the STEM Council, we appreciate the support of the NGA Center for Best Practices, and look forward to our continued partnership with Innovate + Educate to serve as a national model as we work to ensure all students in the Commonwealth have an equal opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge to succeed."

The Lieutenant Governor made today's announcement during the NGA Center for Best Practices, and Massachusetts Governor's STEM Advisory Council's Public-Private Partnership Forum in Boston, where national and state business leaders gathered to discuss how business and industry can best support the implementation and sustained success of Massachusetts' STEM education plan. In addition to the MOU between Innovate + Education and the Patrick-Murray Administration, the NGA Center for Best Practices will work with the Governor's STEM Advisory Council to convene a range of stakeholders from across leading STEM states to engage in cross pollination of effective practices. The NGA partnered with Innovate + Educate to provide support for the implementation of Massachusetts' STEM plan.

At the Commonwealth's 7th Annual STEM Summit in September 2010, Lieutenant Governor Murray released the state's first ever strategic plan for tying economic development to educational enhancement in the STEM fields. The STEM Plan includes a set of five measurable goals and outlined new sources of funding and support. Among the resources announced was a $50,000 investment from Innovate + Educate, a non-profit organization led by top industry across the country, working to serve as a broker of industry investments across STEM education. Led by top companies that invest in STEM education, Innovate + Educate is focusing on the return on investment by industry in their support of state STEM plans.

Jamai Blivin, President and CEO of Innovate + Educate stated, "Innovate + Educate is pleased to see the industry leaders here today from across Massachusetts as well as representation from our national board companies and NGA Center for Best Practices Corporate Fellows here today. We believe that Massachusetts is a critical partner to advancing our efforts across states for aligning top industry to advance STEM education. Massachusetts' work on their STEM vision for all students is a great example for other states."

The five goals as presented by the STEM Advisory Council's plan include increasing student interest in STEM education, increasing the percent of students scoring proficient and higher on statewide exams in STEM, increasing the percent of students who demonstrate readiness for college-level work in STEM, doubling the number of bachelor degrees in STEM majors earned by Massachusetts high school students and increasing the number of STEM educators with deep content knowledge and brimming passion for the fields.

The Council also noted that building successful partnerships with local employers was vital to the successful implementation of the initiatives outlined in the plan to ensure students are acquiring the content knowledge and real-world skills necessary to access gainful employment.

"We are urgently working to increase interest in and access to the valuable STEM fields to all of our students," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "Enhancing partnerships between employers and educators will ensure our students are motivated and prepared for the rigors of our knowledge economy."

"Massachusetts has one of the most highly skilled, innovative and entrepreneurial workforces in the world, and support for STEM education is key to ensuring we maintain that leadership position in the growing innovation economy," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki.

To learn more about the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, to read "A Foundation for the Future: Massachusetts' Plan for Excellence in STEM Education", and for a complete listing of council members, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/governor/administration/councilscabinetsandcommissions/stem/.