The effort is being led by the CEOs of more than 100 major corporations, including six Triangle Coalition members, Verizon, Texas Instruments, Vernier Software and Technology, Merck Institute for Science Education, DuPont, and Ford Motor Company.
At the CTEq launch yesterday, President Obama acknowledged that our nation’s “success will not be attained by government alone.” He issued a call last year for scientists, business leaders, and non-profits to come to together to bring our nation from the middle to the top of the pack in the world in math and science education. As a result, CTEq was founded as a 501(c)3 by former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, astronaut Sally Ride, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, and Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez, with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Its mission is “to create widespread literacy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as an investment in our nation that empowers us all.” By committing financial support, as well as the time and expertise of their scientists, engineers, and other STEM employees, the member corporations are not only making an investment in the future of their businesses, but in our economy, national security, health, and the environment.
“Study after study has shown our decline,” said Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel and chair of CTEq. “It’s now time to turn that around and I think Change the Equation, the private sector support rallying together for financial support, program support, and advocacy support, is the way to do this… it’s about the only way to do this.”
With $5 million in funding for this year, CTEq cites three critical goals to:
• Improve STEM teaching at all grade levels, with a larger and more diverse pool of highly-capable STEM teachers.
• Deepen student appreciation and excitement for STEM programs and careers, especially among females and underrepresented minorities.
• Achieve a sustained commitment to the STEM movement from business leaders, government officials, STEM teachers and other stakeholders.
These goals strongly correlate with those of the President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology (PCAST), which were also released yesterday in a new K-12 STEM Education report.
“Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation,” said President Obama. “I applaud Change the Equation for lending their resources, expertise, and their enthusiasm to the task of strengthening America’s leadership in the 21st century by improving education in science, technology, engineering and math.”
CTEq plans to kick off its first year by cataloging a list of existing STEM investments within its member companies and creating an evaluation system to measure the effectiveness of these programs. The group also plans to assess the current conditions of STEM education in all 50 states. In addition, the member companies will launch several best practice STEM programs in 100 high-need communities around the country.
“‘I can’t do math has become an iconic excuse in our society,” said Linda Rosen, Chief Executive Officer of CTEq. “Many Americans have expressed it, but I don’t believe it’s an accurate reflection of who we are, or, more importantly, what we can do. If we don’t encourage our children and students to get excited about math as well as science, technology and engineering, we are denying them the chance to reach their potential and be prepared for a future filled with opportunity.”
Rosen will be speaking at Triangle Coalition’s Annual Conference on STEM Education Policy on October 22nd.
To learn more about Change the Equation, visit www.changetheequation.org or watch the video below (courtesy of Change the Equation).