The FY15 budget includes $250,000 to establish the Massachusetts STEM Teacher Corps through a public/private partnership. The Massachusetts STEM Teacher Corps is being established due to the Governor’s and the Legislature’s desire to support and recognize STEM teachers and build the next generation of high-quality STEM teachers for the Commonwealth.
The Corps will launch with a cohort of 50 accomplished STEM teachers selected through a rigorous, highly selective application process. Inaugural Corps members will be responsible for helping to develop a program to mentor current and prospective STEM educators with the goal of increasing the number of excellent STEM educators in the Commonwealth. Corps members will receive a competitive stipend and will meet regularly with STEM related business and research leaders as well as state education leaders. Additionally, the Corps will inform policy to drive excellence in STEM instruction in the Commonwealth.
- Aligns goals. The Massachusetts STEM Teacher Corps’ focuses on retaining excellent STEM teachers, improving STEM teaching practice, and enhancing STEM learning for students. Launching the STEM Teacher Corps in Massachusetts will provide structure, resources and attention to help make better, faster progress toward a more effective STEM educator workforce, a goal of the Massachusetts STEM Council’s five year plan.
- Develops a national model. Massachusetts will continue its leadership role in education by becoming one of the first states in the nation to launch a STEM Teacher Corps program. This effort will attract attention and resources to support a professional community of STEM teachers who will inform state and national improvements in the profession and ultimately, produce improvements in student outcomes in STEM fields.
- Creates a cohort of experts to drive state STEM goals. Members of the Massachusetts STEM Teacher Corps are ideally suited to further develop the state’s goal of increasing the number of STEM classes led by effective educators. The STEM Teacher Corps will provide insights for overcoming challenges of attracting, retaining and supporting the best STEM educators in Massachusetts public schools.
- Supports a professional career ladder for teachers. The Massachusetts STEM Teacher Corps promotes a professional career ladder for educators that does not require our best teachers to leave the classroom to advance professionally. The STEM teacher corps incentives our best STEM teachers to continue teaching and provides pathways for significant teacher leadership.
Funds for the creation of the STEM Teacher Corps shall be matched by private sector donations at a rate not less than $3 of private funding for every $1 of state funding. The teacher corps shall consist of not less than 50 highly qualified and exemplary teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), who shall support the professional development of other STEM teachers, and elevate the quality of STEM teaching at other schools and districts in the commonwealth.
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