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Universities Pledge to Prepare More Math, Science Teachers

One thing I neglected to mention in my Web story and blog post last week on President Obama's STEM announcement was a commitment made by leaders representing some 120 public universities to help boost the nation's supply of math and science teachers.

"Our pledge is to substantially increase the number and diversity of high-quality science and mathematics teachers we prepare, and build better partnerships among universities, community colleges, schools systems, state governments, business, and other stakeholders," write 79 leaders of research universities and university systems in a Jan. 6 letter to the White House.

Thirty-nine institutions and three university systems—including the University of California system, the University of Houston, and Cornell University—specifically promised to at least double the number of science and math teachers they graduate by 2015. The overall effort will lead to the preparation of more than 10,000 science and math teachers annually by 2015, the letter says, "for an accumulated 7,500 new teachers over the five years from what we would have prepared."

In the letter, the university presidents note their participation in the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative, a venture launched in 2008 by the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities.

"Through the [initiative], we have come together to learn from our leading innovative programs, define and assess the quality of our efforts, understand how to better partner with school systems, and challenge ourselves to improve relentlessly our activities," the letter says.

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