The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has launched an initiative to bolster science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education nationally.
This new Raise the Bar: STEM Excellence for All Students initiative aims to help implement equitable, high-quality STEM education for students from Pre-K to higher ed in order to ensure career readiness and global competitiveness.
“Research shows how a sense of belonging in rich and rigorous classrooms is directly correlated to students’ long-term academic success. Moreover, the Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection continues to demonstrate that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately excluded from learning opportunities in STEM,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten. “Today, we are saying unequivocally to all students and educators that they belong in STEM and that they deserve to have rigorous and relevant educational experiences that inspire and empower them to reach their full potential as productive, contributing members of our nation’s workforce.”
As part of the initiative, ED has published a Dear Colleague Letter to state and district leaders on potential federal education fund uses to improve STEM education and partnered with Beyond100K to identify challenges to fully staffing schools with diverse, quality STEM teachers.
ED also hosted the YOU Belong in STEM National Coordinating Conference Dec. 7 in Washington, D.C., bringing together various groups to discuss STEM education. Participants – such as STEM stakeholders – attended the event in ED’s Lyndon B. Johnson building, touching on matters of belonging in STEM and student STEM education experiences.