Georgia’s vision is to equip all Georgia students, through effective teachers and leaders and through creating the right conditions in Georgia’s schools and classrooms, with the knowledge and skills to empower them to:
1) Graduate from high school
2) Be successful in college and/or professional careers
3) Be competitive with their peers throughout the United States and the world.
The Race to the Top (RT3) program allows the State to accelerate the implementation of successful improvement strategies while providing the impetus to jumpstart innovative initiatives. One of the main objectives is to lead the way in STEM fields by promoting an aggressive STEM agenda to ensure that students are proficient in STEM fields—and equipped to be nationally and internationally competitive. In order to accomplish these objectives, improving STEM education is a part of various Race to the Top initiatives.
STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS
To increase the focus on STEM, the State will require that all elementary and middle schools make science their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) second indicator starting with a hold-harmless year in 2011-2012 followed by full implementation in the 2012-2013 school year. The rationale for this strategy is two-fold: first, student interest in and preparation for science in high school must begin at the elementary school level. Second, since what is measured matters, requiring science as an AYP second indicator will put an instructional focus on teaching and learning the subject. Additional activities specific to STEM-related standards and assessments include: raising educator awareness of STEM resources, promoting a STEM culture in schools, developing and disseminating applied STEM modules that promote a problem-based inquiry approach to STEM, and initiating STEM applied learning partnerships.
GREAT TEACHERS AND LEADERS
The State is partnering with Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) to provide 21st Century teacher professional development in STEM.
Activites within teacher professional development in STEM include:
•Provide Online Professional Development to STEM Teachers in STEM best
•Develop an Instructional Technology Toolkit for Administrators and Teachers
to support the effective use of technology in standards-based classroom
•Expand the Georgia Intern-Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) program which
places STEM teachers in mentored, challenging STEM summer internships
•Provide a new Operations Research (OR)-based mathematics course as a
Math 4 option and work with the Georgia Virtual School to develop an online
Math 4 course
•Utilize Robotics/Engineering Design to teach physical science which is based on the existing Middle School Integrated STEM courses created in Cobb County
and an NSF-sponsored 8th Grade engineering design and robotics course
being created at Georgia Tech
•Offer advanced courses in college-level calculus II and III through the use of
live video conferencing to students and develop other advanced online
•Use TEM (Teacher Effectiveness Measure) scores of STEM teachers within
participating LEA (local education agencies) to identify and deliver tailored
professional development for teachers
•Partner with U Teach to strengthen the pipeline of science and math teachers from institutes of higher education
•Recruit more science/math teachers into Georgia classrooms through
implementing Math + Science = Success campaign
For More about Georgia Department of Education's STEM program, please visit the GADOE webpage