New Research by CSLNet Says STEM Can Lead The Way

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Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards Offer Opportunity to Transform Teacher Preparation and Support

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“We hope this new research will inform the work of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and other policymakers, spur collaboration and communication among higher education and school districts," said CSLNet CEO Chris Roe.

The California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet) today released a new research paper calling for significant changes in how teachers are taught in order to meet the demands of the new Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. The report, released today at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Summit in Austin, Texas, recommends engaging future teachers in clinical practice similar to a medical residency model early in their studies, as a key component of a transformed teacher preparation system.

“As California and other states prepare for the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, we believe that innovative efforts already underway in STEM education can lead the way,” said Chris Roe, Chief Executive Officer of the California STEM Learning Network. “We hope this new research will inform the work of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and other policymakers, spur collaboration and communication among higher education and school districts, and encourage the effective participation and support of philanthropy. The report and its recommendations also offer value to policymakers and educators in other states as they work to prepare and strengthen the teaching workforce across the nation,” said Roe.

Drawing on interviews with 30 STEM and teacher development experts, the report, STEM Can Lead the Way: Rethinking Teacher Preparation and Policy, recommends changes to strengthen California’s system of teacher preparation in order to foster and support the use of inquiry-based instructional approaches needed to help students develop a deeper level of understanding of important content and be able to apply knowledge to real world problems. A partial list of recommendations includes:

    **Asking CCTC to require teacher preparation programs to adopt a clinical practice model with the opportunity to gain up to 3,000 hours of practice in STEM-rich environments

    **Asking higher education and school districts to work together to create a coherent system of teacher preparation, induction and professional learning

    **Outlining ways philanthropy can support the effort

(A complete list of recommendations can be found in the Executive Summary and full report at

“There is significant alignment between what the new standards require of teachers and what innovative STEM teacher preparation programs are already training teacher-candidates to accomplish,” says report author Tory Read. “We need to look to these innovative STEM programs for evidence and lessons as we consider how to improve teacher preparation training for all K-12 teachers.

“This paper will be a significant asset as we proceed with the critical task of preparing teachers for rigorous implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards,” said Beverly Young, Ph.D. Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, California State University.

“According to the California Senate Office of Research, California will need 33,000 new math and science teachers in the next decade,” said Marcella Klein Williams, Chief Education Officer for the California STEM Learning Network. The new standards hold great promise, but if California is going to build a teaching workforce with the capacity to help their students master those standards, California needs to transform a chaotic system of preparation and training into a coherent, aligned and logical system of continuous and progressive training and support throughout a teacher’s career.”

Teacher Preparation and Credentialing: STEM Can Lead the Way is available online at The report was commissioned and published by the California STEM Learning Network and researched and written by Tory Read.


About CSLNet:
The California STEM Learning Network is a San Francisco-based non-profit founded in 2010. We are creating a statewide network of champions across the public and private sectors to ensure all California students have access to high quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning opportunities that prepare them for success in college, career and their daily lives. Our growing network is working to shape and implement a common agenda to advance policies and programs that increase quality, access and innovation in STEM education across each region and throughout the state. To learn more about our work, visit our website at

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Tihanna McCleese
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