The Value of Endowed Chairs
Creating a solution for America’s K-12 STEM teacher shortage
Ever since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik into orbit on Oct. 4, 1957, America has been struggling to recruit and retain STEM teachers in its public middle and high schools.
In the 2017-2018 school year, approximately 100,000 teacher jobs in STEM – or science, technology, engineering and mathematics – went unfilled at the high school level. At the middle school level, there were about 150,000 unfilled STEM educator jobs.
The situation has been getting progressively worse over the past decade or so. For instance, in the 2011-2012 school year, 19 percent of public schools were unable to fill a teaching position for biology or life sciences. By the 2020-2021 school year, that number had grown to 31 percent. The situation was similar for other subjects, going from 19 percent to 32 percent for mathematics, and 26 percent to 47 percent for physical sciences, such as physics, geology and engineering.
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