For decades the United States has led the world in mathematics and science. American mathematicians and scientists solved longstanding problems, made breakthroughs in pure and applied areas, and established leading academic centers across the nation. Math and science today also play an increasingly important role in every part of commerce, from manufacturing to finance, and having some understanding of these fields is now essential to being an informed citizen.
But maintaining excellence in math and science requires an exceptional K–12 education system to train the next generations of mathematicians, scientists, engineers, economists, business leaders, and citizens—the people who will power the next wave of innovation in our country and use math and science wisely. An essential ingredient is an education system that includes high-quality K–12 math and science teachers who know and love the subjects they teach.
Math for America (MƒA) was founded to maintain and encourage continued excellence in U.S. math and science education.
Now in its 10th year and funded in part by the Simons Foundation, MƒA’s mission is to build a corps of outstanding early-career and experienced mathematics and science teachers at the secondary level—teachers who can communicate their subject to all students, promote creativity in the classroom, and launch the next generation of researchers.
While the organization’s early years focused on bolstering mathematics teaching in our country, in 2013 MƒA broadened its ambitions to encompass all sciences taught in secondary school.
Through recruitment of promising prospective and early-career teachers, a group referred to as MƒA Fellows, and through strategic support of excellent Master Teachers already in U.S. schools, MƒA brings talented new teachers into the profession and connects them to the master craftsmen of teaching, establishing a supportive community of math and science educators.
“The U.S. urgently needs to foster outstanding mathematics and science instruction in every school throughout the country,” says John Ewing, President of MƒA. “Math for America believes that the best way to build excellence is to start with excellence—and the first step is to recognize and support the great teachers we already have in the classroom. That strong base of teachers exists, and their excellence is contagious.”
By offering these talented educators stipends in addition to their salaries and membership in a dynamic professional community, MƒA creates a robust and committed population of professionals.
MƒA sponsors a broad array of colloquia for its members, many facilitated by the Master Teachers themselves. Regional meetings conducted on a regular basis offer mini-courses in which educators at various stages of their careers discuss mathematics, pedagogy and participate in an open exchange ideas. And the program encourages its teachers to attend seminars in their field and to pursue further accreditation by seeking National Board Certification.
To date, MƒA has admitted over 800 teachers across the country and plans to expand its flagship New York Program to a cadre of 1,000 outstanding STEM educators.
In building this program, MƒA not only serves as a model for a future national program—the organization has potential to bring together tens of thousands of outstanding mathematics and science teachers—but also enhances the prestige of the teaching profession, making it a more attractive opportunity for talented young people seeking to begin fulfilling careers.
To learn more about Math for America, click here.