As MBRT begins a third decade and launches a new three-year plan, a stronger focus on STEM education and careers will be a high priority. While our mission remains the same:
To bring the voice of business and employers to support high standards, rigorous assessments, and strong accountability in K-12 education and to demonstrate the connection between achievement in school and success in college, the workplace, and in life.
Our focus and impact are taking new shape. High credibility/visibility, strong partnerships and corporate support, new technologies, strategic solutions, impressive results, and broader funding have propelled our efforts to a higher level.
As education and workforce development in the high-growth areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) emerged as a national and state priority in recent years, MBRT and University System of Maryland led the development of the Governor’s STEM Task Force and the Maryland STEM Strategic Plan. With significant funding from the U.S. Department of Education through Race To The Top, and considerable support from leading corporations, MBRT is creating Maryland’s STEM Innovation Network – STEMnet – a recommendation from the Plan. It will provide quality instructional resources and a powerful platform for interaction among educators, STEM industry professionals, parents and students.
According to research conducted by Education First Consulting, a national firm, “Maryland is leading the nation with its development of STEMnet. No other state is planning to develop an approach with similar depth and scale.”
The Strategic Steering Committee developed MBRT’s 2012-2014 Strategic Plan, which includes the goal to double the number of STEM-advanced high school graduates, and to increase to 2/3 the number of Maryland Scholars (STEM capable) graduates.
Significant progress has occurred in in meeting objectives of MBRT’s 2009-2011 Strategic Plan. With a specific outcome goal of doubling the number of Maryland Scholars in three years, our efforts were focused on:
Pushing for policies that
- encourage rigorous course completion
- strengthen course content
- align high school graduation requirements with college/workplace entrance requirements
- improve P-20 longitudinal data system
Collecting and analyzing districts course completion data
Building our base of effective partners, advocates, funders, and volunteers
– extending our reach to more students, earlier and more often
– targeting our messages where they produce the most impact/results
– creating STEMnet and begin providing services to teachers