Math and Science Teacher Initiative
The Khan Academy contains over 2,100 videos and 100 self-paced exercises and assessments, with extensive resources in mathematics and other topics covered including biology, chemistry, physics, and earth/space science. The resources are a valuable tool for helping candidates prepare for CSET tests.
California is projected to need upwards of 33,000 new mathematics and science teachers in the next ten years. The demand for credentialed teachers in these fields is significantly higher than the supply of fully qualified candidates. As a consequence, large numbers of students in California are taught math and science by teachers who are not credentialed in those fields. Access to qualified math and science teachers is associated with improved achievement, and ensuring that all students have fully credentialed teachers is critical to closing the achievement gap in these critical subjects.
The California State University (CSU), the state’s largest producer of math and science teachers, has responded to this challenge with a commitment to double its annual production of credentialed teachers in math and science over a five-year period. CSU committed to increasing the number of qualified teachers in these fields from a baseline of 750 to approximately 1,500 by 2010 and has achieved this significant goal, preparing more than 1,500 teachers in both 2010 and 2011. It is especially noteworthy that a rigorous value-added study demonstrates that urban secondary students who are taught mathematics by new teachers who received their credential from a CSU campus learn significantly more math than comparable students taught by math teachers who were not prepared by CSU.
The Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) includes a systemwide plan of action that consists of six primary strategies:
- The creation of new credential pathways
- Provision of financial support to students
- Recruitment with intent to expand the number and diversity of candidates
- Collaboration between CSU campuses and their local community colleges
- Internet-supported delivery of instruction and resources
- Partnerships with corporate sponsors and federal laboratories
The Governor and the Legislature have given consistent support to CSU’s efforts. Beginning in 2005, a special budget allocation was provided, which is currently $2.713 million. Using these resources in strategically planned efforts, CSU campuses have been highly effective in increasing production of math and science teachers.
CSU campuses have also been successful in acquiring federal grants to supplement the Initiative. For example, 22 campuses have now received National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grants, and total federal support from NSF and the U.S. Department of Education has been over $66 million. Noyce Scholarships and Fellowships now provide more than 300 math and science majors preparing for teaching careers through CSU credential programs with $10,000 stipends annually.
The recruitment of outstanding candidates into MSTI is a central focus of the CSU initiative, ensuring the quality of preparation and advancing successful approaches for retaining new math and science teachers are other key objectives.
The National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the National Association of System Heads (NASH), and the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) have recognized the CSU’s efforts as among the most significant and comprehensive in the nation.