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Texas Instruments Foundation gives $3 million to train math and science teachers at local schools and universities

Partnership with proven programs aims to boost capability and increase numbers

PRNewswire
Sep 9, 2009

DALLAS, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Instruments Foundation today announced grants of $3 million to train existing middle and junior high school teachers in advanced math and science and to increase the number of such teachers who graduate from local universities.

This investment is consistent with the Texas Instruments Foundation's focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and its mission to substantially strengthen the number of high-school graduates who are capable of advanced math and science by focusing on teachers - the most critical link in the learning chain.

"Teachers are the key. But we can't expect to graduate the caliber of students our state and nation need without more and better trained math and science teachers," said Sam Self, chairman of the Texas Instruments Foundation. "We're investing in proven programs to address both quality and quantity of STEM teachers. These grants help by training 180 existing teachers in three school districts and developing 300 new teachers from three North Texas universities by 2013."

The Foundation grants will fund two programs that have proven successful at the state and national levels:

  • Laying the Foundation® will receive $1.5 million for advanced training of existing teachers in 10 middle and junior high schools in the Dallas, Garland and Richardson school districts to improve their strategies for teaching Pre-AP-level coursework. This grant also will include a unique component for mentoring and lesson modeling, as well as pre-and post-course assessment of students. The LTF grant provides potential financial incentives of about $4,500 per teacher to encourage retention over the next five years. As partners in the program, the schools applied to be part of the program and share in the cost of the training.
  • UTeach programs at three universities will receive a total of $1.5 million to prepare college undergraduates to become secondary math and science teachers. Specifically, these grants will be used to provide a total of seven master teachers at The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington. Each master teacher will work alongside senior faculty to prepare more than 50 undergraduate students each year for certification in math or science. Two Foundation grants will expand existing UTeach centers at The University of North Texas and The University of Texas at Dallas. Another Foundation grant, complemented by funding from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), the Texas Education Agency and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, will establish a new UTeach center at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Teachers and schools need more support

"Both federal and state governments are strongly promoting STEM education, and we applaud those efforts," Self said. "But, the support of more foundations and corporations is needed to address the critical teacher shortage. We invite others to join us in this mission. The more we can all put our resources behind proven, successful programs, the farther we believe we can advance STEM education."

About the Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, established in 1964, is a non-profit, philanthropic organization. Its primary intent is to improve STEM education and increase the percentage of high-school graduates who are math and science capable. For more information, see http://www.ti.com/tifoundation.

About Laying the Foundation(® )

Laying the Foundation (LTF) is an established program that has trained more than 18,800 teachers in the state since 2003, including more than 3,000 in 694 Texas schools in the last school year.

"Research shows that teacher effectiveness is absolutely critical for student success," said Peter O'Donnell, Jr., chairman of Laying the Foundation. "This grant allows us to provide Dallas, Garland and Richardson ISD teachers with training, teacher-to-teacher mentoring and student assessment tools to increase rigor in their classrooms and raise expectations for student achievement."

The following 10 middle and junior high schools were selected for the program and will benefit from the Texas Instruments Foundation's funding:

Dallas ISD: Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership Academy; John B. Hood Middle School

Garland ISD: Austin Academy for Excellence, Classical Center at Brandenberg Middle School, Sam Houston Middle School, B.G. Hudson Middle School and Jackson Technology Center for Math and Science

Richardson ISD: Lake Highlands Junior High School, Liberty Junior High School,

Westwood Junior High

About UTeach

UTeach started at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997, and, under the auspices of the UTeach Institute and NMSI, the program has been replicated in 13 other universities since 2007. As a result, more than 1,500 math and science majors are currently enrolled in UTeach programs across the country. In addition to classroom instruction, the UTeach students also are given four years of intensive experience in public schools coupled with feedback on their teaching performance.

"Universities across the country are working together, putting aside past approaches and interests," said Tom Luce, CEO of National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). "UNT, UT Dallas and UTA are implementing the UTeach Program to become "the way" their secondary STEM teachers are prepared."

UTeach middle and high school math and science teachers who earned majors in their disciplines have remained in their professions at higher rates than the graduates of most of other programs. About 80 percent are still in their teaching positions five year later, compared to the national average of 50 percent. They also choose in large numbers to teach in high-need schools. Without such efforts, many school districts must hire uncertified or under qualified staff simply because there is such a shortage of math and science teachers.

The UTeach Dallas program at UT Dallas was launched in the spring of 2008 and has since grown rapidly to 135 students.

The Teach North Texas (TNT) program at the University of North Texas, also launched in spring 2008, plans to have more than 300 students enrolled in the next five years, more than double its initial projection.

About the National Math and Science Initiative

The National Math and Science Initiative -- launched by top leaders in in U.S. business, education and science in 2007 -- is an agent of change focused on improving student achievement in math and science across the American public school system. NMSI brings best practices in management to the education sector by replicating proven programs on a national scale.

In its first two years, NMSI has awarded grants totaling more than $120 million to expand the AP Training and Incentive Program to six states and to implement the UTeach program in 13 universities. NMSI is partnering with the UTeach Institute to recruit and prepare a new generation of math and science teachers for the U.S.

About the need for math/science teachers

These facts illustrate the need for more, qualified STEM teachers in the U.S. and Texas:

  • The U.S. will need 280,000 additional mathematics and science teachers by 2015.(1)
  • An additional 16,000 teachers are needed in Texas to fill vacancies and replace teachers who are not fully certified to teach math and science. The state has approximately 6,500 in the teacher preparation pipeline and another 2,500 with appropriate certification who are projected to return to the classroom.(2)
  • Only half of new mathematics and science teachers are still in classrooms five years after starting their careers.(3)
  • Middle and high school mathematics and science teachers are more likely than not to be teaching outside their own fields of study. Nearly a third of U.S. high school math students and two-thirds of those enrolled in physical science have teachers who did not major in the subject in college or are not certified to teach it.(4)
  • In Texas, about 30% of middle and high school science teachers do not even have a minor in their subject. This percentage is even higher in schools with high populations of low-income students.(5)
  • Only 4% of alternatively certified teachers currently have degrees in mathematics, science or engineering.(6)
  • The Education Trust has reported that in high poverty schools, two in five math classes have teachers without a college major or certification in math.
  1. Business-Higher Education Forum and President Barack Obama's address to the National Academy of Sciences, April 2009
  2. Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers in Texas: Supply, Demand, and Quality, Dr. Ed Fuller, UT Austin, October 2008
  3. NMSI
  4. Rising Above the Gathering Storm" report by the National Academies
  5. "The Next Frontier", The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, 2009
  6. "The Next Frontier", The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, 2009

SOURCE Texas Instruments Incorporated

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SOURCE: Texas Instruments Incorporated

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