Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Most of America's-and particularly Minnesota's-fastest-growing professions require science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. But too few students are graduating from high school with the knowledge and the interest in pursuing STEM degrees in college. Even in Minnesota, which consistently ranks near the top of the pack compared with other states, only half of our 8th graders are proficient in math and only 40 percent are proficient in science. Furthermore, well over half of college students in China and Japan major in STEM fields, compared with only one-third of U.S. students. Improving our students' achievement and engagement in STEM fields is vital to the future of our workforce and economy. That's why Sen. Franken introduced the STEM Master Teacher Corps Act.
The STEM Master Teacher Corps Act would offer career advancement opportunities and higher pay to the top 5 percent of K-12 STEM teachers in a participating area. Corps members will, in turn, mentor other STEM teachers and share best practices with the STEM education community to improve the ability of all teachers to impart strong STEM skills and an eagerness to learn to their students. Corps members will also serve as role models for other STEM teachers, demonstrating the opportunity for continued professional growth if they stay in teaching.
Sen. Franken also believes a strong relationship between our schools and businesses is vital to ensuring kids are engaged in STEM and have the skills they need to take on high-tech jobs. He is proud of the leadership Minnesota's businesses and manufacturers have shown in partnering with schools to prepare students for the workforce, and he will work to further support and enhance that connection.