With Goal of Hiring 100,000 STEM Teachers in Sight, 100Kin10 Asks: Why Is It So Hard to Find and Keep Great Teachers in STEM?

July 31, 2018

At one point in time, Talia Milgrom-Elcott’s goal of adding 100,000 excellent STEM teachers into America’s K-12 classrooms by 2021 seemed like enough. Now, six years into the 100Kin10 effort that Milgrom-Elcott co-founded and for which she serves as executive director, that goal moves closer to reality. But another issue has surfaced that now appears even more daunting.

“Once we thought we were on track to hit the goal on time and had built a network capable of doing that, it gave us the invitation to ask the bigger question: Was it possible that in this goal we had avoided the bigger and more important question of why is it so hard to get and keep great teachers in STEM?” Milgrom-Elcott says. “If we didn’t solve that question, we were likely going to start 100Kin10 all over again in 10 years.”

So the same 280 organizations, universities, and companies — among them the National Science Teachers Association, UTeach at the University of Texas, AT&T, Teachers College, Chevron, the Department of Energy, and the California State University system — that are on track to meet the 100Kin10 goal have now mobilized to take on what Milgrom-Elcott calls the “grand challenges” inherent in STEM education shortages.

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