The AP (1/7) reports that on Wednesday, President Obama announced his $250 million "Educate to Innovate" campaign "to train math and science teachers and help meet his goal of pushing America's students...to the top of the pack in those subjects in the next decade." According to the President, "teacher quality is the most important single factor" influencing students' success or failure in STEM subjects. Educate to Innovate, he added, "will help train more than 100,000 teachers and prepare more than 10,000 new educators in the next five years." The AP listed "Intel Corp., the National Math and Science Initiative, PBS and the National Science Teachers Association" as investors in the initiative. Moreover, Obama "called on the 200,000" scientists employed by "the federal government to help by speaking at schools and participating in hands-on projects to help stoke a youngster's curiosity in science."
The Washington Post (1/7, Anderson) reports that President Obama "announced the initiative in an afternoon ceremony at the White House as he honored...about 100 outstanding math and science educators from around the country." It also points out that the campaign "effectively doubles, to more than $500 million" the "philanthropic" STEM education campaign that the President "launched in November." Specifically, Educate to Innovate includes "a $13.5 million expansion of a university-based program called UTeach that aims to deliver 7,000 expert teachers by 2018; a commitment from public universities to prepare 10,000 math and science teachers a year...and efforts by NASA and PBS to promote effective math and science teaching." Said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, "If we're going to be economically competitive and continue to innovate and create jobs, we have to get much, much better in STEM education. ... There's a huge sense of urgency."
The Christian Science Monitor (1/7, Paulson) notes that "the push for more attention on STEM subjects has been building for some time, with educators, business leaders, scientists, and policymakers calling attention to American students' lackluster math and science performance relative to other countries and sounding the alarm for what it means for the country's future."