Bills aim to get more teachers in math, science

first_imgAccording to the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, more teachers without full credentials are teaching math and science than any other subject. On average, about 23 percent of the state’s teachers do not have full credentials, but a full 40 percent of high school math teachers do not have full credentials. Similarly, more of those unprepared teachers are being assigned to the neediest schools – those in the lowest performing groups on standardized tests. The Los Angeles Unified School District has in recent years created several programs to recruit math and science teachers. One announced last year includes cash incentives that could add up to $15,000 for new fully credentialed math and science teachers who work at low-performing schools and stay there for several years. LAUSD board President Marlene Canter said the district has had a problem recruiting math and science teachers for years. “Math and science is extremely important,” Canter said. “We need to keep our eye on the ball and put our resources there so we can increase kids’ ability to achieve in those areas.” SACRAMENTO – As school districts struggle with a critical shortage of math and science teachers, a Pasadena lawmaker has proposed a package of bills aimed at drawing more educators to the fields and helping California remain competitive in the world economy. State Sen. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, has proposed legislation to provide cash bonuses for teachers to specialize in math and science; make it easier for midcareer professionals to become teachers; and clear obstacles for retired teachers to return to the classroom. “If we’re going to be competitive globally, we’ve got to have a great deal more graduates in math and science,” Scott said. “Some countries that are developing on the world scene – like India and China – are outstripping us in terms of their production of engineers, mathematicians and scientists.” Former astronaut Sally Ride, who now runs a company that creates science programs for students, said it is shortsighted to do so little to teach those fields in schools. “It’s really critical that we provide good education and preparation in science and math for all of our kids,” said Ride, who appeared at a Capitol press conference with Scott. “And it needs to start early. We need to excite them both about the science and about the opportunities that are going to be open to them when they get through school.” Ride, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, is now a physics professor at University of California, San Diego, and founded Sally Ride Science, which creates science programs for elementary and middle school students. She was the first American woman in space. harrison.sheppard@ (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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