Massachusetts Announces First STEM Education Plan
January 09, 2011
Mass. Lt. Governor Timothy Murray outlined the state's first strategic plan tying economic development to educational enhancement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at the 7th Annual STEM Summit of education, business, and community leaders in September 2010.
In 2009 Governor Deval Patrick established the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, charged with creating a plan to strengthen STEM by teaming with education and business leaders to develop strategies to increase student interest, teacher training, and learning opportunities in STEM. Council appointees, Ioannis Miaoulis, the Museum of Science's president and director and NCTL founding director, and Yvonne Spicer, NCTL vice president for advocacy and educational partnerships, played a role -- Miaoulis as a member of the frameworks, standards and assessments subcommittee and Spicer as co-chair, teacher development subcommittee.
The plan, "A Foundation for the Future: Massachusetts' Plan for Excellence in STEM Education," recommends increasing the following:
--student interest in STEM by 10% to surpass the national average
--the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced on the MCAS Math, Science, Technology and Engineering Assessments
--the percentage of students ready for college study in STEM by setting the goal of having all high schoolers take four years of math and three of science by 2016
--the number and percentage of STEM classes in public schools led by effective passionate educators
--the number by 100% of bachelor degrees in STEM majors earned by students from Massachusetts high schools by 2016.
With the Council's and the Patrick-Murray administration's work, partnerships with stakeholders have also led to funding for STEM education. Support includes $6 million from the Mass. Race to the Top award (the U.S. Department of Education recognized the STEM Council as a reason for the state's 100% score on the STEM component); $2.5 million to vocational-technical schools, community colleges, and workforce training from the Mass. Life Science Center's new Equipment and Supplies Program for life science skills education, to be matched by industry up to $5 million; and $50,000 as a part of a new partnership among the STEM Advisory Council, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and Innovate+Educate.