100Kin10 Has Surpassed Their Goal to Support and Prepare 100,000 Excellent STEM Teachers for American Classrooms

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November 17, 2021


Responding to President Obama’s call to improve STEM in America, 100Kin10’s work has unleashed a new generation of problem solvers

New York, N.Y.– Ten years ago, 100Kin10, the national network committed to giving American K-12 school children a high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, set out to add 100,000 excellent STEM teachers to America’s classrooms by 2021. Today, despite an overall decline in national enrollment in teacher preparation programs, 100Kin10 is pleased to announce that they have not only met but surpassed that goal, adding more than 108,000 STEM teachers to our nation’s classrooms in ten years.

100Kin10 was created in 2011, following President Barack Obama’s call to significantly improve STEM education in America. In his State of the Union address that year, the president called for “the addition of 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in the next ten years.”

100Kin10 employed four key strategies to drive results. It built a network with a shared purpose, focused attention on the key challenges and areas to catalyze change, magnified successful interventions and innovations, and encouraged its partners to work collaboratively to problem-solve and innovate new solutions. Then, to support its ambitious programs, 100Kin10 raised more than $120M in four Collaborative Funds.

“In case it wasn’t clear before, science and engineering are the keys to our own survival – everything from climate change to the pandemic, to the technology that will save us,” said Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Founder and Executive Director of 100Kin10. “Too few kids have opportunities that allow them to be the problem solvers our future needs them to be. Our work over the past ten years has proven that students who believe they can succeed, coupled with STEM teachers who can support their learning and growth, are the magic to unleashing a generation of problem solvers.”

100Kin10 has had a remarkable impact on the field and, in partnership with 100s of organizations, has achieved what many thought would be impossible. According to an independent evaluation by Bellwether Education Partners, 100Kin10 ignited a “decade of remarkable change” and enabled “a more connected, focused, and prepared community of actors, collectively driving impact on the STEM education field, on STEM educators, and on K-12 students.” This happened because 100Kin10 partners improved their recruitment strategies and provided more STEM teacher candidates with the kind of training that research shows is most effective to students learning, increased their emphasis on preparing and supporting elementary teachers with STEM skills, and ensured that more teachers and students have greater access to meaningful, authentic and rigorous STEM learning and experiences.

“Not just meeting but exceeding 100,000 new STEM teachers is an amazing achievement, and it reflects the hard work and unwavering commitment of 100Kin10 and the hundreds of other organizations that answered the call when President Obama set that audacious goal ten years ago,” said former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “President Obama said last week ‘humanity has done hard things before. I believe we can do hard things again.’ Today’s announcement is both an important step forward for America’s students and a reminder that we can set big, ambitious goals and achieve them together.”

Initially, 28 founding organizations from myriad sectors stepped up to make bold commitments to action, and more than 300 others have since joined the effort. 100Kin10 asked all organizations to contribute their unique strengths, learn from each other’s successes and struggles, collectively solve challenges, and bring new solutions to teachers and students. Notable partners include the New York City Department of Education, Chicago Public Schools, Academy for Urban School Leadership, California State University system, University System of Maryland, Purdue University, Western Governors University, Dana Center at UT Austin, Dell Technologies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Heising-Simons Foundation, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Museum of Science and Industry, Erikson Institute and Teach for America.

“We were so pleased that we were able to reach, and even exceed our 2021 goal,” Milgrom-Elcott said. “But we can’t waste time patting ourselves on the back. The need for STEM education continues to grow, particularly among Black, Latinx and Native American students, and we need to accelerate our efforts to increase the number of excellent STEM teachers able to inspire the next generation in the years ahead.”

To that end, Milgrom-Elcott said that 100Kin10 is now establishing new “moonshot” goals for its next phase and gathering input from young people on their experiences with STEM education via a platform 100Kin10 calls the “unCommission” (www.theuncommission.org).

“STEM is now the driver of economic and technological progress,” Milgrom-Elcott said, “so for America to continue to innovate and lead, we will need to provide the best minds of the next generation with the tools they will need to succeed. And that starts with STEM education.”

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