New Opportunity Equation Website Provides Resources to Accelerate Reform in Math and Science Education

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Information hub for educators, parents, policymakers, business leaders, and others committed to transforming math and science education for all American students

Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) today debuted a new website for their Opportunity Equation initiative (www.opportunityequation.org). The initiative was created in 2009 as a broad-based mobilization around the recommendations in the report, The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy. Released in June 2009, the report brought national attention to STEM education (i.e, science, technology, engineering, and math) and its critical connection to widespread education reform.

“The Commission’s report last year proposed a foundation for reform, and a call to action. We are pleased to see exciting change already taking place at national, state, and local levels that aligns with and supports core pieces of the report’s recommendations such as Common Core State Standards, the STEM priority in Race to the Top, and the expansion of innovative STEM-themed high schools” said Michele Cahill, Vice President, National Programs, Carnegie Corporation of New York and Co-Chair of Opportunity Equation.

“Now, through this website, we are giving a growing community of STEM advocates—including educators, parents, principals, policy makers, business leaders, and community leaders—information that can inspire and accelerate this change in their local communities. Through case studies, profiles, and discussions, the content highlights reforms that are playing out successfully all over the country.”

The website is an information hub for those who share a sense of urgency about the need to transform math and science education. By creating a focal point where reform-minded educators and other stakeholders can convene to analyze what’s working, the Opportunity Equation will continue to help to build momentum among those who are poised to create change.

The site offers:

·         Discussions with experts to frame challenges and identify opportunities for action;

·         Profiles of individuals, organizations and schools whose work is transforming STEM education; and

·         Updates on the latest news and press coverage on STEM education and education reform.

“A new wave of political will is bringing us closer to the hopeful vision of equity and excellence in STEM education articulated in the report,” said Phillip Griffiths, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Past Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, and Co-Chair of Opportunity Equation. “The Opportunity Equation website will enable a dialogue and sharing of information for a community that is ready to use STEM as a lever for change.”

“The anticipated release of Waiting for Superman is increasing awareness among the broader population about challenges our education system faces,” added Cahill. “Moviegoers will leave theaters wondering what the nation plans to do to address these inequities. This is a moment of clear purpose when we need to look at what has been accomplished effectively and designed innovatively. We need to scale up those system changes and programs to benefit a greater number of students.”

Cahill also pointed to the leadership for STEM education shown by the recent launch of Change the Equation and the release of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for America’s Future report. Through these two efforts, the nation’s leading CEOs and science and technology experts weigh in, and make a compelling case for engaging and academically demanding STEM education for all through a national strategy.

The Opportunity Equation report lays out a practical, coordinated plan and describes what each constituency can do to raise mathematics and science achievement for all American students. Its recommendations align well with those of Change the Equation and the PCAST report. Opportunity Equation called for:

o    Establishing new, common standards in mathematics and science that are clearer and higher, along with high-quality assessments;

o    Transforming how our nation's schools and school systems develop, deploy and support teaching talent; and

o    Redesigning schools and school systems to “do school differently” to deliver more effective math and science learning opportunities for all students.

Now in a mobilization phase, Opportunity Equation and its stakeholders are working to:

o    Inform key policy makers about the goals and recommendations of Opportunity Equation;

o    Inform research and philanthropic support, which is crucial to developing appropriate infrastructure and an appropriate research agenda; and

o    Inform the field by keeping the goal of comprehensive and transformative change, equity and excellence before key audiences.

View the site and the full report at www.OpportunityEquation.org. For more information about Carnegie Corporation of New York or the Institute for Advanced Study, visit www.carnegie.org or www.ias.edu. To follow on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/OppEquation.

 About Carnegie Corporation of New York

 Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic foundation created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to do "real and permanent good in this world."

About the Institute for Advanced Study

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world's leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The Institute exists to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities - the original, often speculative, thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. Work at the Institute takes place in four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Science. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by a permanent Faculty of 28, and it offers all who work there the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute.

The Institute, founded in 1930, is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. Its more than 6,000 former Members hold positions of intellectual and scientific leadership throughout the academic world. Some 22 Nobel Laureates and 38 out of 52 Fields Medalists, as well as many winners of the Wolf or MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.