Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson Appoints CSLNet CEO Chris Roe to Newly-Launched California STEM Task Force

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Head of California STEM Learning Network joins new initiative to bolster state’s science, technology, engineering and math education

Chris Roe, CEO of CSLNet

“Bolstering STEM education across the state and preparing all of our students for 21st century jobs is vital to California remaining a global leader in innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation."

San Francisco, CA: The California STEM Learning Network(CSLNet) today announced that its CEO Chris Roe has been appointed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to serve on the newly-created science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Task Force that will examine how to improve the way California educates its students in these subjects and engage more students in scientific and technical fields, which are integral to the state’s economic future.

In addition to Roe, other STEM Task Force members include co-chairs Herb Brunkhorst, Ph.D., chair of California State University, San Bernardino’s Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education and Susan Hackwood, Ph.D., Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology. Hackwood also serves as a member of CSLNet’s Board.

“I am honored and excited to contribute to the California STEM Task Force. Bolstering STEM education across the state and preparing all of our students for 21st century jobs is vital to California remaining a global leader in innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation,” said Roe. “Both CSLNet and I stand committed to assisting Superintendent Torlakson and the State in this critical work.”

The task force will explore the status of STEM education in California, including instructional practices, teacher professional development, student testing, infrastructure and partnerships. It will also assess the state’s future needs and recommend a blueprint for improving STEM teaching and learning and providing equal access to STEM learning opportunities for all K–12 students. The blueprint will provide guidance on strategies for including career technical education, and the newly developed national Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards in California’s K-12 classrooms.

In California, STEM-related industries and jobs are a major driver of the state’s economy. Over the last decade, job growth in STEM fields was three times greater than that of non-STEM occupations according to a 2011 U.S. department of commerce study, “STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future”.

Despite the current high levels of unemployment, Change the Equation reports that in California, there are nearly 1.5 jobs available in STEM fields for every job seeker with a STEM background. California’s STEM workforce is expected to grow by nearly 20 percent in the next five years alone – twice the average of other jobs – with 80 percent of those jobs expected to be in computing and engineering fields. That growth is predicated, however, on having a viable STEM workforce with the skills and abilities needed for success in these careers.

CSLNet is a non-profit organization working to catalyze innovation in STEM teaching and learning throughout the State of California. CSLNet, in collaboration with a diverse range of partners, helps California prepare the nation’s most STEM-capable graduates.

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