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Kicking Off 100Kin10

March 29, 2012
Kate Hovde

Kate Hovde, Senior Analyst

Question:  What does the Center for High Impact Philanthropy have in common with NASA, the state government of Maryland, The American Museum of Natural History, Teach for America, and over 100 other organizations?

Answer:  All have committed to help meet the nation’s need for better Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education through efforts to recruit, train, and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next 10 years.

Of course, the Center’s role is to create smart advice for individual donors on philanthropic giving, not to recruit or train teachers directly. Here’s why we thought joining this effort was important:

Growing Demand for STEM Education

The nation’s need for workers with STEM skills is growing. There is a strong case that U.S. growth and competitiveness in the long term will depend on improving education, particularly in STEM areas. The needs for and benefits of STEM education were laid out at the February kickoff event in Washington DC by Anthony Carnavale of Georgetown’s Center for Education and the Workforce. You can find the executive summary of Carnavale’s publication here as well as a U.S. News and World Report article about the study.

Focus on Teaching Quality

100Kin10’s focus is on creating and retaining excellent teachers. We know that teacher quality is the most important in-school factor affecting student outcomes. Several of the 100Kin10 partners are organizations that we profiled in the course of producing donor guidance on improving teaching quality.

Investment in Teacher Retention

Nationally, nearly half of teachers leave the profession after five years, and school districts often find it difficult to fill STEM teacher positions. If we can keep great STEM teachers longer, the return on investment in their training will be greater.

Collaborative Learning

100Kin10 partners were screened for both quality and innovation in their work, but at the same time are very diverse. This diversity made for a particularly rich set of initial conversations at the DC kickoff event.  100Kin10 is also committed to promoting more formalized shared learning among the different partners through the development of a research and evaluation agenda.

This initiative is being led by the University of Chicago, but is drawing on cross-institutional expertise in the design phase, including Penn’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) professors Richard Ingersoll, Jonathan Supovitz, and Janine Remillard. More high quality and shared learning about what works and does not work is exactly the kind of orientation that the Center seeks to support, and that is likely to lead to greater social impact overall

Learn More About 100Kin10

Donors interested in finding out more about 100Kin10 can visit the website: www.100kin10.org or contact the Center. In addition, look for additional information on our blog as the Center learns more about the work of partner organizations over the next few months.

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