$250 million initiative for science, math teachers planned
The Washington Post, January 6, 2010
Audio from Michigan Press Conference with Governor Granholm
Woodrow Wilson News & Publications
FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, January 6, 2010
CONTACT: Beverly Sanford | Vice President for Communications | (609) 815-5103
PRESIDENT OBAMA HERALDS EXPANSION OF
WOODROW WILSON TEACHING FELLOWSHIP
IN KEY STATES TO PREPARE MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS
FOR HARD-TO-STAFF SCHOOLS
Two additional states – Michigan and Ohio – Join Indiana
in Providing Fellowships To Educate STEM Graduates for Teaching Roles
in Rural and Urban Public Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C.—At a White House event announcing the expansion of the administration’s Educate to Innovate campaign, President Barack Obama lauded the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for bringing its Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships to Michigan and Ohio. Six new universities in Michigan have been selected to participate, with four others soon to be selected in Ohio.
The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship was launched in Indiana in 2007 to develop a model for states to revamp their teacher education programs and bring new talent into classrooms to address significant shortages of mathematics and science teachers.
“America’s leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today, especially in science, math and engineering,” said President Obama. “I’m pleased to announce the expansion of our Educate to Innovate campaign today and applaud the several new partnerships launched that will help meet our goal of moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.”
The fellowships, funded with support from both private philanthropies and state funding, provide $30,000 stipends to prospective teachers who agree to spend a year in exemplary teacher education programs and teach for three years in low-income rural and urban secondary schools. They also offer additional funding to the participating campuses to fundamentally rethink their approach to teacher preparation. Participating states are focusing on math and science, as high-need fields, and on urban and rural schools, where strong math and science teachers are urgently needed.
In Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, over the course of their three-year programs, the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship will prepare more than 700 math and science teachers at 14 institutions, with a total of nearly $40 million in public and private funding and a lifelong impact on the math and science achievement of an estimated 87,500 students who will learn from the Fellows every year.
“The Woodrow Wilson STEM Teaching Fellowship works at the state level because, state by state, small numbers of teachers make big differences,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. “In Indiana, where the Fellowships were launched last year, Fellows will supply more than 20% of the state’s needed math and science teachers. In Michigan, the Fellowship will produce enough math and science teachers to fill all anticipated vacancies in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, and Battle Creek. This means real impact for strengthening math and science teaching.”
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship will be offered at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, and Wayne State University. The six institutions will collectively host 120 Fellows annually. Governor Jennifer Granholm has led the way in bringing the program to Michigan, with $16.7 million in funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents is launching the Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship as part of the state’s Choose Ohio First scholarship program. Woodrow Wilson Foundation staff are currently reviewing eleven universities as potential partners and will make their recommendations to the Chancellor soon. An announcement of the final selection of four universities is anticipated in late January. The four selected partner institutions will host 80 Fellows each year. The Ohio program is supported through the state’s Choose Ohio First funds, with additional funding from five Ohio foundations.
Two additional states are in the pipeline and could be added as early as fall 2010.
The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship was created in 2007 with leadership from Governor Mitch Daniels, $10 million in funding from the Lilly Endowment, and additional state funds. Four Indiana universities are participating: Ball State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University, and the University of Indianapolis. These institutions have redesigned their graduate-level math and science teacher preparation programs so that Fellows spend significant time in school classrooms throughout their study while also engaging in rigorous academic work—a requirement for all participating universities.
The Foundation’s effort to date in Indiana provides useful strategies for expanding the Fellowship in other states to bolster teacher education and recruitment and development of the teacher workforce. These lessons include:
- Incentives matter. States need to focus on providing more carrots (incentives to encourage people to enter the field and to encourage institutions to change) and sticks (efforts by governors and legislators to hold education schools and school districts accountable).
- Governors can lead the way. Governors have political clout to advance real change in education schools and within the districts hosting teachers.
- Change policies in schools as well as on campus. To be effective, programs must focus not only on who should be admitted into teacher education and what preparation should look like but also what form mentoring should take and what placements in districts will most benefit new teachers and students.
- Demonstrate improvement. Programs should be required to provide real evidence of improvement in student learning and teacher retention, as well as sustained/expanded program changes at the university, to be sure that the innovations really work.
The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships attract talented people—career changers as well as new graduates—to careers in teaching and also seek to transform teacher preparation. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows hold baccalaureate degrees in math or science and are high achievers, academically and professionally. They complete an intensive, field-based master’s program in teacher education at a participating university, overseen by both the university’s STEM faculty and its education faculty in cooperation with partner school districts. Fellows receive $30,000 during the Fellowship year and commit to teach for three years, with on-site mentoring, in some of the state’s high-need urban or rural secondary schools.
# # #About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops the best minds for the nation’s most important challenges. In these areas of challenge, the Foundation awards fellowships to enrich human resources, works to improve public policy, and assists organizations and institutions in enhancing practice in the U.S. and abroad.
About W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Established in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.
About the Ohio Board of Regents
The Ohio Board of Regents mission is to lead, advocate and coordinate the process of on-going transformation of higher education to maximize accessible, quality learning opportunities in a fiscally responsible manner resulting in individual successes and an improved intellectual, social and economic life for all Ohioans.
About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family—J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli—through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The Lilly family's foremost priority was to help the people of their city and state build a better life. Although the Endowment also supports efforts of national significance and an occasional international project, it remains primarily committed to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.