White House press release ("blog") announcing creation of a STEM Master Teaching Corps:
The administration should have done this sooner.
This from Kara Pezzi's blog about the awards ceremony:
"I hope this award opens up new opportunities that will allow me to continue teaching but to also give back to my profession."
Here's Pezzi's entire blog:
We all had teachers who made good impressions on us that lasted a lifetime, and that is how it always was. But technology is changing the way our children are being taught and I can see a day when not only will college classes be online but entire education system will be dependent upon the cloud. Administrators and educators need to prepare themselves for that and become more like guidance counselors: http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/06/hopewell_valley_schools_go_hig.html
I have fond memories of my own high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Giacomino. He was the first teacher that really opened the door for me to the fascinating--and fun--world of science. We need more teachers like Mr. Giacomino and Kara Pezzi. But with constant budget cuts, I fear we are going the other way. Too many people like Pezzi who would have made great teachers end up going into something else. Can you blame them? But in the end its our loss.
Right now in many school systems kids are put in "advanced" or "accelerated" math and science tracks as they enter middle school (or junior high) based on standardized testing. So those kids who didn't do well on the standardized tests in fifth or sixth grade are facing an uphill battle in high school because they are now stigmatized as not being "talented" in math and science. Meanwhile many of those kids who were deemed "talented" eventually decide that they would rather be doctors and lawyers or hedge fund managers once they head off to college. As a result we just don't get many STEM majors in college.
Same thing in the Appleton, Wisconsin, school system, which is one of the state's best. Kara Pezzi is one of two remaining chemistry teachers dealing with overcrowded classes and fewer resources. We thought the statistic about the number of physics students at the school (60) was particularly troublesome.
Kara Pezzi remains in touch with chemistry students who's lives she changed. It's not easy being a teacher these days in Wisconsin, a state in which they are practically demonized. Teachers like Kara Pezzi are worth their weight in gold.