Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) will host the YOU Belong in STEM National Coordinating Conference in Washington, D.C. as a key initiative for the Biden-Harris Administration. The Raise the Bar: STEM Excellence for All Students initiative is designed to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education nationwide. This new Biden-Harris Administration initiative will help implement and scale equitable, high-quality STEM education for all students from PreK to higher education—regardless of background— to ensure their 21st century career readiness and global competitiveness.
“Research shows how a sense of belonging in rich and rigorous classrooms is directly correlated to students’ long-term academic success. Moreover, the Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection continues to demonstrate that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately excluded from learning opportunities in STEM,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten. “Today, we are saying unequivocally to all students and educators that they belong in STEM and that they deserve to have rigorous and relevant educational experiences that inspire and empower them to reach their full potential as productive, contributing members of our nation’s workforce.”
In support of the initiative and its goals, the Department has:
- Published a Dear Colleague Letter to state and district leaders outlining how federal education funds can be used to enhance STEM teaching and learning.
- Announced a partnership with Beyond100K through an MOU. Beyond100K will partner with ED to identify the key challenges regarding the supply and demand of STEM teachers at the state and local levels. Additionally, Beyond100K will co-sponsor a series of national communities of practices to support states and school districts in developing and implementing scalable solutions to the STEM educator shortage and improve equitable access to high-quality STEM instruction for marginalized students.
- Additionally, over 90 public and private sector organizations from across the country have made specific commitments to enhance STEM education. These commitments range from local grassroots efforts to initiatives that are national in scope. (see the list of organizations that made commitments in the past 4 weeks below)
Organizational Commitments to Support YOU Belong in STEM
The U.S. Department of Education invited STEM education entities to make bold commitment(s) to advance STEM education in America. We encourage you to consider the following parameters in developing your commitment:
- Equity & Belonging: How does our work support ecosystems to cultivate rigorous, culturally relevant, and joyful STEM classrooms with a focus on belonging that meets the needs of underrepresented students and educators?
- Measurable Impact: How will we know and track the number of stakeholders who will be impacted by this commitment, including states, districts, schools, educators and students?
- Outcome-Oriented: How are we changing and improving the experiences of students and educators because of our work?
- Force Multiplier: How will our commitment advance impact across the STEM ecosystem?
- Transparent: How do we plan to achieve the outcomes and why do we think our approach will work?