USC Rossier School of Education dean Karen Symms Gallagher was one of a small and elite cross-sector partnership of education and policy leaders at a meeting with U.S. Department of Education secretary Arne Duncan and his team.
Gallagher, along with representatives from the Carnegie Corp., Opportunity Equation, the NewSchools Venture fund and a dozen others addressed Duncan regarding the group’s plans to meet President Barack Obama’s two-step challenge: 10,000 new teachers in two years and 100,000 new teachers in 10 years in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
USC Rossier is the only school of education among the founding members of the partnership, which includes key foundations, private corporations and other educational entities.
The founding partners first met in January to build a “Blueprint for Action” which addresses three key goals: increasing the supply of new teachers in STEM fields by recruiting and preparing highly skilled individuals, many of whom ultimately will work in high-need schools; retaining excellence in the field of STEM teaching by sharing best practices, building professional development opportunities, and recognizing excellence; and building the movement by supporting innovative techniques and funding appropriate training.
Gallagher’s presentation on increasing the supply of new STEM teachers included the commitment of USC Rossier, with partnership support, to prepare more than 10 times the number of STEM teachers currently being prepared at the USC school.
USC Rossier’s ability to achieve that growth is tied to its award-winning MAT@USC program, the online Master of Arts in Teaching which has increased the school’s teacher preparation student population tenfold in less than two years. The program currently enrolls more than 1,500 students representing nearly all 50 states. USC Rossier also is home to Math for America/Los Angeles, whose fellows will play a key role in meeting this commitment.
“Our country’s economic future depends on successfully educating our young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” Gallagher said. “The president’s goals are ambitious but absolutely essential if America is going to be competitive. I’m honored and eager to work with education leaders and our government to supply the highly trained teachers we need to get this job done.”
Other members of the unprecedented partnership for the “100,000 in 10” STEM initiative include the Clinton Global Initiative, the National Science Foundation, Google, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, Teach for America, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the National Math and Science Initiative, the American Museum of Natural History, Creative Commons, the New Teacher Project, the New York Hall of Science and the University of Washington College of Education.