Today Albert Einstein Fellows will be visiting the offices of Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to discuss the importance of having teachers involved in public policy. After the conclusion of our Summit at the Wilson Center, we developed a one page document of policy recommendations to distribute. The text of that document follows.
The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows, some of the nation’s leading educators, gathered in Washington, DC on June 28-29, 2010, for a 20th Anniversary Summit. Hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Summit brought together more than 80 current and former Einstein Fellows along with distinguished guest speakers from the White House, Federal agencies, national education organizations, and the U.S. Congress. The goal of the Summit was to generate recommendations to inform and improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The Summit covered a variety of educational issues, including national curriculum standards, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and educational equity.
Recommendations of the Einstein Fellows:
- Support initiatives to enable school systems to implement innovative teaching practices in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
- Increase funding for Pre-K-12 education, especially programs that impact each child as opposed to competitive grants. Federal funding is vital to the maintenance and development of STEM programs in states and districts.
- Establish national standards for science education and support provisions in the reauthorization of ESEA that give equal treatment to science as to mathematics and language arts. Science knowledge and skills, as part of a comprehensive STEM approach, are vital for all students and provide 21st Century workforce skills, promote national security and global competitiveness.
- Include K-12 teachers, such as Einstein Fellows, in the formulation of professional development or curriculum. The real world experience of classroom teachers is an overlooked asset when new programs are developed.
- Base school and student assessment on multiple measures and formative assessments.
- Create and fund a program to place science specialists to teach and coach in elementary schools. Elementary schools can benefit from the presence of competent STEM teachers who also have skills in working with K-12 students. They can teach STEM and also model effective strategies as instructional coaches.
- Support legislation that encourages research-based instruction and teacher training.
- Support federal programs to purchase science equipment and provide STEM training to teachers at the K-6 grade levels. This will enable the delivery of inquiry-based, hands-on science experiences.
- Establish guidelines to ensure all administrators are competent and knowledgeable in STEM education. Student success and instructional quality depends on strong school leadership.
- Support initiatives and funding to enable states and districts to lengthen the school day or school year.
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