Noting that 21 slots for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching went unclaimed this year because of a lack of qualified applicants, Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, says that the U.S. desperately needs a "new model" for recruiting and preparing STEM teachers. He points to his own program as a possible example:
The fellowships use state, philanthropic, and other resources to support, prepare, and place recent graduates and career changers with strong STEM backgrounds in classrooms where they'll do the most good. Each fellow receives a $30,000 stipend to use during a year of master's-level teacher preparation at a designated university. In exchange, fellows commit to teach in a high-need urban or rural secondary school for three years, with ongoing mentoring.
Levine, who was formerly President of Teachers College at Columbia University, says that Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan have together committed $30 million to the program over three years, which will bring more than 500 new math and science teachers.