The Policy Forum is a 501(c) non-profit entity created by the STEM Education Coalition to bring a deeper focus to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education policy issues through public events, partnerships with state and local education stakeholders, policy roundtables, and other activities designed to improve our understanding of key STEM issues.
Recent Events and Updates
On Tuesday, February 13, the STEM Education Coalition hosted a congressional briefing on “Challenges for Today’s Science Educators.” The briefing painted a picture of the challenges facing the science educatorsin schools and out-of-school time programs from a recruitment, retention, and classroom andprofessional life perspective. Panelists shared how science educators play a crucial role in the educationaldevelopment of students and contribute significantly to shaping the future – and to supportinglong-term U.S. economic competitiveness. They also discussed the impacts of federal policies relative to educator supply, accountability, and professional development and the implications for the post-pandemic learning environment. Panelists included: Dr. Heidi Schweingruber, Director for Board on Science Education at National of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Peter McLaren, Executive Director, Next Gen Education, LLC Leslie Brooks, STEM Hub Manager, Afterschool Alliance Kimberly Hughes, Director, UTeach Institute at the University of Texas at Austin Dr. Florentia Spires, STEM Instructional Leader, Prince George’s County, Maryland James Brown, Executive Director, STEM Education Coalition (Moderator) Presentation slides below Science-Teachers-PowerpointDownload
On Thursday, July 27, the STEM Education Coalition submitted comments to the National Science Foundation in response to the request for information to inform the development of an investment roadmap for its Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, or TIP. The comments center on how the new directorate, established by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, can organize programs and investments around a comprehensive strategy to support education and workforce development efforts in critical advanced technology fields. “TIP programs need to be structured with the overarching purpose of collaboration and facilitating partnerships that put use-inspired research into action directly with industry, ensuring that federal dollars are spent not only to meet today’s talent needs, but also to build pipelines for securing the talent for the future. TIP programs should also meet employers and the communities they serve where they are at, structuring programs that promote community-driven, human-centered strategies and equitably generate workforce opportunities for workers of every educational level based on an employer’s current and future needs,” the letter reads. View the full letter below. STEM-Ed-Coalition-TIP-RFI-ResponseDownload
On Wednesday, May 24, the STEM Education Coalition hosted a Congressional briefing titled “Challenges in STEM Teaching: Sustaining the Teacher Workforce. Moderated by James Brown, Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition, the panel discussion featured presentations from: Dr. Sean McCarty, Assistant Superintendent, Grades K-6, Seneca Valley School District, Pennsylvania; Dr. Ann Bonitatibus, Principal, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; Dr. Erika Shugart, Executive Director, National Science Teaching Association; and Dr. Denise Spangler, Dean, College of Education, University of Georgia. Panelists presented on the challenges like an overall general decline in the STEM teacher workforce, opportunity gaps for underserved populations because of teacher shortages, and burnout because of factors like assessments, lack of voice, and societal pressures. The panelists also outlined potential solutions, including innovating classroom spaces and learning environments, reforming accountability systems, and more resources and time for high quality professional development and paid residencies. Teacher-Shortage-Briefing-SlidesDownload
On Wednesday, April 19, the STEM Education provided recommendations to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on priorities in the Education Science Reform Act reauthorization process. “A key aspect of elevating the STEM subjects as a national priority is developing a betterunderstanding about which students, teachers, schools and communities have access andopportunity to have high-quality STEM learning opportunities, both in and outside theirclassrooms. The Institute for Education Sciences (IES) at the Department of Education can playan important role in helping both policymakers and education leaders at the state and locallevel have greater insights into how best to employ their limited resources to benefit thegreatest number of students in STEM subjects and experiences,” the letter states. Read the full letter below: Letter-STEM-Ed-Coalition-to-HELP-on-ESRA-4-19-1Download
The STEM Education Coalition invites interested stakeholders to sign-on to a statement of principles document calling for policymakers to prioritize science education. As the principles state, a “scientifically literate society is essential to both a healthy democracy and to our future economic prosperity. Unfortunately, our nation is falling behind in science education at a time when its critical importance is rapidly rising. Our policymakers can and must act to elevate the priority of science education in our nation’s federal and state level education laws.” Please view the full document below along with a link to sign-on as a supporting organization. View document here. Sign-on here.
Policy Forum Supporters