Charter Pulse

Selected readings on US charter schools

Charter School Group Joins Nationwide Public-Private Partnership Advancing STEM Education

STEM-EducationWashington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which represents more than 2.3 million students in charter schools, announced today that it has joined STEMconnector, an organization aimed at connecting organizations, states and companies working to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

“With nearly 70 percent of the jobs of tomorrow requiring expertise in STEM fields, Charter schools have an important role to play in making science, technology, engineering and math a top priority,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Many charter schools – like Denver’s Science and Technology Public Schools, Arizona’s BASIS charter schools and California’s Magnolia Science Academies – have helped students make remarkable achievement gains through STEM-focused instruction. Charter schools offer teachers and principals the freedom and flexibility they need to align their curriculum, hiring, training, teaching and evaluation to the evolving STEM workforce needs in America,” said Rees.

A growing number of charter schools are working to make STEM a priority. On a recent survey, 20 percent of all charter schools reported that they have a specific STEM or math/science instructional focus. Charter schools disproportionally serve inner-city, minority and low-income children. “The fact that a lot of charter schools are focused on STEM in these neighborhoods indicates that families, regardless of their income, want to make sure their children are getting a solid education and are prepared for STEM careers,” said Rees.

As part of its commitment to STEMconnector, the National Alliance plans to:

  • Connect charter schools around the country with STEM resources, best practices and partner organizations.
  • Work with STEM-focused charter schools and state charter school associations to share their STEM education best practices, including success and lessons learned in recruiting qualified teachers, aligning curriculum to workforce needs, creating overall school cultures that motivate students to pursue STEM and giving students the opportunity to gain early experience working in STEM fields.
  • Collect and share STEM data and trends coming out of charter schools with policymakers and practitioners.
    Represent charter schools in STEM forums.

About the National Alliance: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.publiccharters.org.

Source: STEMblog – by Meredith Steuer

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