Carnegie Corporation’s Education Investments Geared to Helping Country “Win the Future”

Carnegie Corporation of New York’s efforts to transform mathematics and science education, announced in 2007, resonates with President Barack Obama’s ambitious challenge to move U.S. students from the middle to the top of the pack in math and science achievement over the next decade.

In the State of the Union, the President called for a new effort to prepare 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers with strong teaching skills and deep content knowledge.

This week in New York, Carnegie Corporation is convening a brainstorming session, including education innovators as well as representatives from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, to identify ways to fill the country’s demand for STEM teachers, and to set in motion commitments that will lead to action.

This gathering is one element in the foundation’s strategy to significantly improve the instructional effectiveness that leads to greater student achievement in STEM. Carnegie Corporation is focusing on transforming policies and advancing innovations aimed at increasing the skills and quality of the K-12 teachers and principals, with an emphasis on STEM.  Investments focus on developing and implementing systems that allow schools to recruit and develop qualified candidates for teaching and leadership roles, place them intelligently and equitably in the right positions, cultivate their skills and sustain their commitment over time, and monitor and manage their performance with relevant metrics. 

In June 2009, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Institute for Advanced Study issued The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy. The report sounded an urgent call for a national mobilization to "transform mathematics and science education and deliver it equitably and with excellence to all students." It also recommended concrete actions by a range of organizations — from labor and business to federal and state government, schools and colleges, and donors. More than 65 groups affirmed their support.

As part of its own efforts, Carnegie Corporation is applying a strategic focus on STEM learning to all its education grantmaking. The foundation strives to enable all students, including historically underserved populations and immigrants, to achieve academic success and perform with high levels of creative, scientific, and technological knowledge and skill. Current priorities include upgrading the standards and assessments that guide student learning, improving teaching and ensuring that effective teachers are well deployed in our nation's schools, and promoting innovative new school and system designs.