Teaching grant to give more Colorado students access to STEM instruction

Colorado is the first state to receive a challenge grant from the National Education Association and matching-fund partners to train more teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Kerrie Dallman at Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia at the Colorado STEM expansion press conference, Jan. 15

Kerrie Dallman at Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia at the Colorado STEM expansion press conference, Jan. 15

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia made the announcement today at Northglenn High School, which is transitioning into a STEM school to emphasize student learning in subjects projected to drive many 21st-century careers.

The NEA will provide $200,000 to the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL) for teacher training and certification, technology and support to expand its math and science program in Colorado. The NEA’s challenge grant is being matched by grants from the Morgridge Family Foundation ($150,000) and Xcel Energy ($50,000).

The NEA’s goal is to raise $1.5 million in efforts to spread the NJCTL teacher training model to many states.  The Center cultivates teachers who are highly qualified and skilled educators to fill science and math teacher shortages, and has added more than 130 new physics and chemistry teachers in New Jersey since 2009.

Quotes from the participating organizations:

(watch video of remarks by Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and CEA President Kerrie Dallman on CEA’s YouTube channel)

  • “Colorado’s economy is adding jobs in STEM-related fields every day and we need to meet this growing demand by educating a highly-skilled and competitive workforce.  Colorado is replicating progressive science and math training programs that will help translate a teacher’s first-rate instruction into better learning for students in the classroom.” – Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia
  • “We know a great teacher can make a tremendous impact on a student’s desire and ability to master STEM content, but Colorado lacks the number of teachers we need to help enough students learn these exciting subjects.  This investment will grow our talent pool of outstanding STEM teachers and further our state’s collective goal of preparing every student to thrive in a dynamic economy.”  – Kerrie Dallman, Colorado Education Association president
  • “We are thrilled to be working together to get additional qualified, caring, and committed math and science teachers into the state’s classrooms.  There is a clear understanding that our nation’s prosperity is tied to innovation and that innovation will be spurred on by our ability to engage our students in STEM subjects and programs. NEA will continue to lead efforts to improve teaching and learning and invest in programs that work.” – Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association president
  • “The Morgridge Family Foundation is thrilled to be a part of bringing Bob Goodman and his exceptional physics and math training programs to Colorado.  We believe in doing all we can to transform the lives of students and teachers through proven instructional strategies.  We are especially proud to support the early adopters at Northglenn High School and Adams 12 who have demonstrated a strong commitment to STEM education.” – Carrie Morgridge, Morgridge Family Foundation vice president
  • “Improving STEM education is imperative for the energy business and other sectors as well as our overall economy.  More than half of our current jobs require STEM degrees or extensive math or science skills. These are positions critical to our business.” – David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company
  • “I want to express my appreciation to the NEA, Morgridge Family Foundation and Xcel Energy for having confidence in a program that has proven so successful in New Jersey and for providing the financial support needed to bring it to the students of Colorado.” – Dr. Bob Goodman, New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning executive director

On the national front, President Obama wants to add 100,000 highly qualified and skilled educators to better prepare students in the STEM subjects that are expected to be critical in 2.7 million new jobs over the next five years.

Kerrie Dallman with Northglenn High students after the press conference

Kerrie Dallman with Northglenn High students after the press conference


Educators: Talk to Vice-president Biden Monday at 5:00 p.m.

CEA encourages Association members to join Vice-president Joe Biden in a conference call on Monday, September 12, at 5:00 p.m. (Colorado time).

Vice-president Biden wants to hear from educators about jobs and the importance of maintaining teacher and support professional jobs in our public schools. On the call, the Vice-president will discuss the Obama Administration’s commitment to preventing educator layoffs through the American Jobs Act that the President introduced last week in Congress.

Date of Call: Monday, September 12, 2011
Start Time: 5:00 p.m. in Colorado

Please plan to dial in 5-7 minutes early
Call Number: (800) 260-0719
Participant Access Code: 216646

NOTE: This call is closed to the media.

About the American Jobs Act & Teachers: As many as 280,000 education jobs are on the chopping block in the upcoming school year due to continued state budget constraints. These cuts could have a significant impact on children’s education, through the reduction of school days, increased class size, and the elimination of key classes and services.

The President’s plan will support state and local efforts to retain, rehire, and hire early childhood, elementary, and secondary educators, including teachers, guidance counselors, classroom assistants, after-school personnel, tutors, and literacy and math coaches.  These efforts will help ensure that schools are able to keep teachers in the classroom, preserve or extend the regular school day and school year, and support important after-school activities.

To watch the President’s speech or to find out more:

White House-American Jobs Act

NEA Education Votes site