ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 6, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley formally accepted the final report and recommendations from the Governor’s STEM Task Force today, a panel co-chaired by University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan and Maryland Business Roundtable for Education Executive Director June Streckfus. Recommendations include bold new target areas, including tripling the number of teachers in STEM shortage areas and increasing the number of STEM college graduates by 40 percent by 2015.
View the entire STEM Task Force report >
The Task Force, created in September 2008, was tasked with making recommendations aimed at establishing Maryland as a global leader in the development of its workforce for the future and its STEM-based research and economic development infrastructure.
“Our challenge and opportunity is to continue developing our workforce so our State will not only meet the demands of the 21st century, but become a global leader where our students can compete in the classroom and the workplace with their counterparts around the world,” said Governor O’Malley. “This report is a vital part of our statewide vision for STEM education, which calls for better preparing every student at every age in every region of our State. Our greatness as a State is going to be determined by what we do in the here and now, to invest in each other, in our potential, in our skills, and in our capabilities.”
“As we prepare for the arrival of Base Realignment and Closure, Governor O’Malley and I are working more closely than ever with our partners in local government, at our State Department of Education and in the private sector to develop strategies that will create a technically-trained workforce pipeline for years to come. Our commitment to STEM is an important part of that pipeline,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “BRAC will create 60,000 jobs in Maryland – good-paying jobs, secure jobs, and jobs that will stay in Maryland for decades. I applaud Governor O’Malley, MSDE and all the members of the P-20 Council for supporting STEM programs that will undoubtedly assure we take full advantage of the opportunities BRAC presents.”
STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education. Sharpening STEM skills is considered critical to preparing students for the knowledge-based economy. Maryland ranks second in the nation in professional and technical workers as a percentage of the workforce, and has over 220,000 workers employed in professional, scientific, and technical service industries. The state’s STEM-related industries account for millions of dollars in economic investment, illustrating the need for K-12 teachers and a comprehensive STEM curriculum aligned throughout the educational pipeline, from elementary school through our colleges and universities.
“I’d like to thank Governor O’Malley for creating this Task Force and for his continued focus on enhancing and ensuring the State of Maryland’s position as a leader in the knowledge economy,” said William E. Kirwan, Task Force co-chair and Chancellor of the University of System of Maryland. “It has been an honor and privilege to work with June Streckfus and the dedicated members of this group. With the support of the Governor, other state officials and policymakers, and representatives from the education and business communities, the State of Maryland has an exceptional opportunity to leverage its tremendous resources to advance the STEM agenda articulated in our report. The state’s economic competitiveness depends heavily on our collective ability to implement the recommended actions.”
governor with task force”With a strong, collective voice, we are speaking and working to ensure that all Marylanders are fluent in the international language of the new economy – math and science,” said Task Force co-chair June Streckfus, Executive Director of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. “Developing a world-class workforce with strong STEM skills is the most value-producing investment we can make in Maryland’s future.”
To carry out its charge, the Task Force divided into three workgroups: STEM education, STEM workforce development, and translational research and economic development. Each workgroup studied and developed recommendations in its assigned area. The Task Force then came together, reaching broad consensus on the most essential steps Maryland must take, grounding its recommendations in evidence-based research reports and analysis of state data. The Task Force recommends seven actions:
1. Align P-12 STEM curriculum with college requirements and workplace expectations in order to prepare all students for postsecondary success.
2. Triple the number of teachers in STEM shortage areas who are prepared in Maryland programs, increase their five-year retention rate from an estimated 50% to 75%, and enhance the STEM preparation and aptitudes for elementary and early childhood teachers.
3. Ensure that all P-20 mathematics and science teachers have the knowledge and skills to help all students successfully complete the college- and career-ready curriculum.
4. Provide STEM internships, co-op, or lab experiences for all interested high school and college students to jump start their successful transition to the workplace.
5. Increase the number of STEM college graduates by 40% from the present level of 4,400 graduates by 2015.
6. Boost Maryland’s global competitiveness by supporting research and entrepreneurship.
7. Create Maryland’s STEM Innovation Network to make STEM resources available to all.
View the entire STEM Task Force report >
UPDATED December 2010
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