The following is a press release from the White House Office of Media Affairs.
WASHINGTON - Today the President will honor educators from across the country for awards received for excellence in mathematics and science teaching and mentoring in his second "Educate to Innovate" Campaign event for excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education in the East Room of the White House. The President will also announce key new partnerships in his campaign to help reach the Administration's goal of moving American students to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade. The event will be webcast at www.WhiteHouse.gov/live at 1:30 p.m. EST. The audience will be comprised of more than 100 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
"The quality of math and science teachers is the most important single factor influencing whether students will succeed or fail in science, technology, engineering and math," President Obama said. "Passionate educators with issue expertise can make all the difference, enabling hands-on learning that truly engages students—including girls and underrepresented minorities—and preparing them to tackle the grand challenges of the 21st century such as increasing energy independence, improving people's health, protecting the environment, and strengthening national security."
The individuals who received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from Louisiana are:
• Kendra Pullen, Shreveport, LA
• Debra Reynolds, Baton Rouge, LA
For biographies of the teachers who will be recognized CLICK HERE
For biographies of the mentors who will be recognized CLICK HERE
The President will announce:
- Five new public-private partnerships that will use proven models to prepare more than 10,000 new math and science teachers over the next five years and will support the professional development of more than 100,000 current teachers in STEM fields. These partnerships – Intel's Science and Math Teachers Initiative, Expansion of the National Math and Science Initiative's UTeach Program, a Commitment of Public University Presidents to Train 10,000 Math and Science Teachers Annually by 2015, the PBS Innovative Educators Challenge and Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships in Math and Science – represent a combined commitment of more than $250 million in financial and in-kind support, adding to the more than $260 million in support announced in November at the launch of the "Educate to Innovate" campaign.
- Building on the President's call to action to all scientists and engineers last May, a challenge to the 200,000 scientists and engineers working for the federal government to engage in high-impact volunteering alongside STEM educators. As part of this Presidential challenge, NASA will organize a multi-year "Summer of Innovation" enrichment program in which NASA scientists and engineers will work with thousands of teachers and students to work on cutting-edge STEM learning opportunities.
Background on the Presidential Awards:
FACT SHEET: "EDUCATE TO INNOVATE"
A substantial teacher shortage in STEM field exists today, and without concerted action, will only worsen. Overall, up to one million teachers will need to be recruited over the next five years, and vacancies in math and science are often among the hardest to fill. This is why, as part of his commitment to raise America to the top of the pack internationally in STEM achievement over the next decade, President Obama challenged governors, philanthropists, scientists, engineers, educators, and the private sector to join with him in a national campaign to find innovative new ways to recruit, train, reward, and retain teachers. Many stepped forward in November and have already begun to contribute. The partnerships announced today represent a second wave of response to the President's call to action.
These activities will reinforce actions the President has already taken at the federal level. The Recovery Act, for example, included the largest investment in education in history, helping to keep employed more than 300,000 educators whose jobs were at risk due to budget shortfalls. In addition, the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund is providing competitive grants to states that pursue innovative strategies for recruiting, credentialing, rewarding, and retaining teachers. The Department of Education has also announced $43 million in grants for 28 Teacher Quality Partnership programs at colleges of education and high-need school districts, with an additional $100 million in grants to be awarded early this year.
Public Private Partnerships announced by the President today: