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April 4, 2012
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201


Education Commissioner Announces Professional Development For Science, Technology, Engineering And Math Teachers In Low-performing Schools

Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. today announced a three-year $4.8 million initiative with the College Board to provide professional development training in advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) coursework for teachers across New York State.  New York’s successful Race to the Top (RTTT) application envisioned this training, which will begin this summer and continue through 2014.  The STEM training is being funded through RTTT to develop and deliver direct and on-line professional development to 1500 teachers in high-needs districts throughout the State.

"It’s only fair that all students have access to advanced STEM courses as preparation for college and career," Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said. "The children in New York’s lowest performing schools must have better opportunities for instruction in STEM subjects.  Through this Race to the Top funded grant the College Board will help teachers strengthen and develop the skills needed to teach at the AP level."

"New York is already seeing growth in the participation of minority and low-income students in AP courses and in their success as well," Commissioner King said.  "This initiative will help us build on that progress.  The College Board is uniquely qualified to prepare and support teachers in bringing challenging Advanced Placement STEM courses to students in high-poverty, low-performing schools."

"The New York State Education Department is providing an example for the rest of the nation by making this long-term investment in the development of high-caliber math and science teachers," said Trevor Packer, Senior Vice President of AP and College Readiness at the College Board. "AP math and science coursework play critical roles in fostering student readiness for STEM majors and careers, and I highly encourage all New York State high school math and science teachers to apply for this ground-breaking program, which represents the first ever statewide STEM professional development program for Pre-AP and AP teachers."

"This investment in professional development for STEM teachers represents a critical opportunity for our state to enhance teacher effectiveness and student readiness, especially among New York’s under-served populations,” said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.  "I am so pleased that SUNY is aligned with the efforts of The College Board and the State Education Department in improving the education pipeline, from cradle to career, particularly now as we work to expand SUNY’s Empire State STEM Learning Network statewide."

STEM teachers in middle and/or high schools identified as being in improvement status are specifically targeted by this program.   The program will help improve instruction, provide greater course offerings and increase participation of specific populations of students, such as minorities and girls, which have been typically underrepresented in advanced courses in the STEM disciplines.  The College Board will assist public school districts and charter schools in creating and sustaining ongoing professional development in advanced courses in the STEM disciplines with a particular emphasis on blended and on-line courses.

Applications for this professional development program are available online: