Torlakson's STEM Task Force Blueprint for California

Innovate: A Blueprint for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in California Public Education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson

STEM Task Force

May 2014

"Given the critical value of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge (Zeidler, 2002), continued professional learning is paramount in promoting student learning in STEM disciplines . Unfortunately, professional learning opportunities for teachers and administrators have severely decreased over the past ten years and are virtually nonexistent in many schools" (p. 14).

Science & Mathematics Teacher Imperative Enters Year 6

Initiative of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)

June 2014

"Entering its sixth year, SMTI is an action-oriented response to the National Academies’ recommendation to prepare 10,000 new science and mathematics teachers (Rising Above the Gathering Storm, 2006)."

Why Education is a Civil Rights Issue Now More than Ever

National Mathematics & Science Initiative

May 2014

“The bottom that students of color, students with disabilities, and English learners don't get the same opportunity as their white and Asian-American peers to take the math and science courses that figure importantly in preparing for careers and college.” - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan


"Better Teacher Preparation" Related to STEM Interest and Success

The New York Times


December 2013

"Nearly 90 percent of high school graduates say they’re not interested in a career or a college major involving science, technology, engineering or math, known collectively as STEM, according to a survey of more than a million students who take the ACT test."

"More than half of the 6.7 million students studying physical sciences — chemistry, physics and earth science — are learning from teachers who did not major in those subjects. Only 64 percent of those teachers are certified. The number is better for math teachers, as 78 percent are certified, but that still leaves three million math students being taught by uncertified teachers."

"The Manual" for Teacher Ed in California

Greatness by Design

California Department of Education

September 2012

"The critical need for investments in teacher and principal learning has been made clear over and over again in efforts aimed at educational change. Those who have worked to improve schools have found that every aspect of school reform – the creation of more challenging curriculum, the use of more thoughtful assessments, the invention of new model schools and programs – depends on highly-skilled educators who are well supported in healthy school organizations " (p. 9).

Obama Announces "STEM Master Teacher Corps"

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

July 2012

“If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible.  Teachers matter, and great teachers deserve our support.”  - President Obama

Launch of Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership

Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-P)

October 2011

“Now is the time for us in higher education to act with equal parts rigor and prudence. While there is urgency in getting to work, we don’t need quick fixes.  Instead, this important work also must be done with a sense of long-term shared commitment among all stakeholders.” - Suzanne Wilson, Chair, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

Five Reasons Teacher Turnover is On the Rise

Take Part

Melanie Smollen

August 2011

"When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.

But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support."