Top math, science teachers honored … but STEM Corps struggle goes on

Julie Harp James ShaferThe White House has announced the 108 winners of the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award recognizes extraordinary K-12 teachers like throughout America. Maryland’s honorees are Julie Harp, of Easton High School, and James Schafer, of Montgomery Blair High School, while the the District of Columbia’s are Aris Pangilinan, of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, and Florentia Spires, of Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science. Each laureate is being invited to Washington,DC, for a ceremony to receive the award plus a $10 000 check from the National Science Foundation.

At the same time, President Obama’s proposed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Master Teacher Corps still remains unachieved after three years. In July 2012 the Obama Administration announced the planned creation of a national (STEM) Master Teacher Corps which would include some of the US’s best STEM educators, with a four-year timeline to create a corps of 10 000 Master Teachers who would make a multi-year commitment to the Corps for which they’d receive up to $20 000 over their base salary. It’s a great idea, but legislative efforts to make a reality have yet to make their way through Congress. Will they ever?

Read more about the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching here, and about the Master Teacher Corps here, here, and here.