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The committee provided recommendations for strengthening our Nation’s economic leadership. These include but are not limited to the annual recruitment of thousands of science and math teachers via scholarships and strengthening the skills of approximately 250,000 teachers through educational education programs. All this is due to the belief that monetary means are necessary if we want scientific innovations to occur in the United States.

My concern is that there does not seem to be a discussion regarding equity and access to rigorous science/math courses for all students in the K-12 system.  Before we focus on college level coursework and grants should we not focus on students in the K-12 system?  If the goal is to positively affect our Nation’s economic leadership, as well as maintain a high number of math/science teachers instead of a mass departure from the schools a strategic focus for K-12 science/math teachers is desperately needed. These must include:

·        Substantial professional development and training on how students learn

 

·        Strategies for both student engagement & maintenance for student resilience

 

·        Provide access to higher levels of curriculum for students of color, and students with language barriers

 

·        Provide training and encouragement so that math/science teachers provide active, inquiry based learning

 

·        Provide time and support for math/science teachers to focus on early warning and intervention systems for students in the middle grades

 

References

 

Balfanz, R. & Byrnes, V. (2006) Closing the mathematics achievement gap in high poverty middle schools: enablers and constraints. Journal of Education for

                students placed at risk, 11(2), 143-159

National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. (2001) Student assignment in the  middle grades towards academic success for all students
                www.mgforum.org

 

 

 

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