STEM Educator Pipeline

Doing the Math on Recruiting Math and Science Teachers

The proposed federal STEM Teacher Pathway program seeks to produce 100,000 new, high-quality math and science teachers in the next decade. How difficult will the goal be to achieve?

This report uses data from the ACT® college readiness assessment to examine the feasibility of producing 100,000 high-quality math and science teachers in the next decade and finds that there is an insufficient number of graduates interested in and capable of math and science teaching to meet the 100,000 high-quality teacher goal. Of the 1.3 million 2012 ACT-tested graduates who tested during either their junior or senior year and were either “fairly sure” or “very sure” of their potential career occupation, only 0.25% identified that they wanted to be math teachers and 0.06% wanted to be science teachers.

Due to the shortage of interested and capable graduates, the report highlights two possible groups to target for recruitment—STEM-capable students interested in education and STEM-capable students undecided of their college major—and highlights the potential recruitment strategies and challenges.

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