Public Impact has published two resources on the Opportunity Culture initiative and STEM under the title Reaching All Students with Excellent STEM Teachers:
Education Leaders’ Brief: This brief summarizes the grim facts about STEM employment and learning in the U.S. today, emerging efforts to stem the shortage of skilled teachers, and how the Opportunity Culture initiative can help.
Slide Deck: This companion to the Education Leaders’ Brief provides more statistics and graphics to explain the huge need for more and better STEM teachers; how to attract and retain great STEM teachers; and how to extend the reach of the excellent STEM teachers we already have, paying them much more within regular budgets, and giving them opportunities to lead and develop peers on the job. (Also available with speaker notes.)
Why the U.S. Must Solve its STEM Teaching Shortage
In the U.S., STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—face urgent needs: Employers need more STEM-trained workers, but too few U.S. students have the advanced STEM education needed to get these jobs.
Why? Schools face a shortage of skilled STEM teachers, severely limiting the number of students qualified to pursue STEM industry and teaching jobs later. Some organizations have begun to address the gaps, but recruiting and retaining excellent STEM teachers remains a serious challenge.
The Opportunity Culture initiative can help by leveraging the excellent STEM teachers already in U.S. schools in ways that make STEM teaching better-paid and more attractive for longer careers.
Schools that extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for significantly higher pay, within budget, are already attracting far more STEM teachers. They are keeping teachers who otherwise might be tempted away by the higher pay and multiple advancement opportunities of other STEM careers.
Opportunity Culture schools can let many more students experience consistent access to excellent STEM teaching. Great teachers continue to teach while gaining school-day time to help their teaching peers succeed through team leadership and collaboration. Others reach more students directly by using age-appropriate quantities of digital instruction, without increasing class sizes.
Using these methods, excellent STEM teachers in Opportunity Culture schools are already getting 10 to 50 percent pay supplements from within their schools’ regular budgets. Some schools are also paying supplements to all STEM teachers who join teams that have excellent teachers as their leaders.
These opportunities make teaching increasingly attractive and feasible for people who want to inspire and instruct the next generation of STEM learners.