Expanding network partnerships for the MTEP 2.0 network

The Informational Meeting for MTEP 2.0 Network Expansion Partners is at 12:00 p.m. CDT on Fri., May 24. | Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash.
The Informational Meeting for MTEP 2.0 Network Expansion Partners is at 12:00 p.m. CDT on Fri., May 24. | Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash.

by Marilyn E. Strutchens, PhD, MTEP Outreach Hub and Central Alabama team leader, and Lizzy Harkey, MTEP Outreach Hub member

In the Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education for America’s Future, prepared by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (2010), one of the major recommendations is:

Teachers: Recruit and Train 100,000 Great STEM Teachers Over the Next Decade Who Are Able to Prepare and Inspire Students: The most important factor in ensuring excellence is great STEM teachers, with both deep content knowledge in STEM subjects and mastery of the pedagogical skills required to teach these subjects well. The Federal Government should set a goal of ensuring over the next decade the recruitment, preparation, and induction support of at least 100,000 new STEM middle and high school teachers who have strong majors in STEM fields and strong content-specific pedagogical preparation, by providing vigorous support for programs designed to produce such teachers. (p. 6-7)

In 2011, 100Kin10, a partnership of 28 organizations from every professional sector, was formed to prepare 100,000 STEM teachers in 10 years. In 2021, their network included partnerships with 300 organizations, and they met and exceeded their goal by preparing 110,000 STEM teachers. Because they met their goal and are continuing their work, 100Kin10 changed their name to Beyond100K. Beyond100K champions partnerships with organizations as they allow their network to benefit from individuals' strengths and to learn from their struggles. Additionally, the network partners share that they form better solutions than they would individually.

Given that we have not produced the number of STEM teachers needed to meet the demands of our growing population, calls for partnerships to support the recruitment and retention of STEM teachers have been ongoing. Recent national initiatives in 2022 include the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act of 2022, which increased funding for STEM education programs. In December 2022 the Department of Education announced an initiative to implement equitable, high-quality STEM education for all students and called for teacher development and external partnerships. The press release related to this initiative states:

The new initiative unites government, nonprofits, professional organizations, industries, philanthropies, and other community stakeholders to take bold action towards breaking down long-standing barriers for student success in the STEM fields. With the support of $120 billion dollars dedicated to K-12 education in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and all other federal education funds, the Department is galvanizing the broader education ecosystem to prioritize three goals for STEM education:

  • Ensure all students from PreK to higher education excel in rigorous, relevant, and joyful STEM learning.
  • Develop and support our STEM educators to join, grow, and stay in the STEM field.
  • Invest in STEM education strategically and sufficiently using ARP and other federal, state, and local funds. (U.S. Department of Education, 2022, Para. 3)
Answering the calls for STEM education innovations, several groups have come together to develop networks and promote partnerships to increase students' interest and representation in STEM fields. The Space STEM Task Force had a round table discussion with individuals from all sectors to discuss space STEM education pathways. Members of the American Association for the Advancement in Science created partnerships with K-12 teachers and STEM professionals. These partnerships collaboratively planned goals for implementing student engagement in STEM experiences. The American Astronomical Society partnered with other STEM organizations, corporations, and laboratories to work toward these initiatives. Their partnerships' efforts have yielded the Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science program and the TEAM-UP Together scholarship program, both seeking to increase the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in STEM fields. One focal point of these initiatives is the need for well-prepared STEM educators to engage students in meaningful learning, and the Space STEM Task Force emphasized the need for educator engagement in exposing learners to and encouraging them toward STEM fields. Several networks have a goal of meeting this need.

The American Association for the Advancement in Science's Advancing Research and Innovation in the STEM Education of Preservice Teachers in High-Need School Districts network aims to support preservice teachers in high-need school districts. It collects and disseminates information about approaches to preparing STEM educators, assessing the effectiveness of STEM education, and understanding successful ways to recruit, train, and retain well-prepared STEM teachers. The network includes partnerships with researchers, practitioners, state and local agencies, and professional societies.

In addition to the broader calls for partnerships around STEM Education, the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators’ (AMTE) Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics Standard P.1 “Partnerships” states, “An effective mathematics teacher preparation program has significant input and participation from all appropriate stakeholders” (2017, p. 27).

Within the discussion of Standard P. 1, list all of the partners that should be included in partnership councils to support mathematics education programs: mathematics teacher educators; faculty who teach mathematics and statistics; faculty in social foundations, special education, educational psychology, educational leadership, and learning technologies, as well as faculty in other disciplines who teach courses in teacher preparation; pre K-12 school-based personnel; families and community leaders; and business and industry representatives.

In agreement with the aforementioned calls for strong partnerships and acknowledging the success of the MTEP, the MTEP 2.0 partnership is expanding our national network of universities and colleges and their partners by connecting with national, state, and local organizations with similar goals to improve students' mathematics education and increase the number of well-prepared secondary mathematics teachers. Through our advisory board and hub leadership members, MTEP 2.0 is already partnering with several organizations, such as AMTE, the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and others. To expand our partnership network, MTEP 2.0 asked our change agents to send letters inviting their state and local programs to join the MTEP 2.0 network. Additionally, we have asked change agents and coaches to suggest names of national organizations who have comparable goals. Collectively, individuals have identified over 30 potential partners, with more continuing to be invited.

Each organization interested in partnering with MTEP 2.0 is invited to an information session from 12:00-1:00 p.m. CDT on May 24, 2024. The goals of this session are to share information about MTEP 2.0, learn about the work of invited organizations, and begin discussions of how we can work together to accomplish our mutual goals for secondary teacher mathematics education. If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn Strutchens <strutme@auburn.edu>.

  1. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. (2010). Report to the President – Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education for America’s Future. Executive Office of the President. https://www.nsf.gov/attachments/117803/public/2a--Prepare_and_Inspire--PCAST.pdf
  2. U.S. Department of Education. (2022). U.S. Department of Education launches new initiative to enhance STEM education for all students. U.S. Department of Education. https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-launches-new-initiative-enhance-stem-education-all-students
  3. Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. (2017). Standards for preparing teachers of mathematics. Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. https://amte.net/standards