More than 97 percent of the funding will support efforts to strengthen STEM competencies and boost principal effectiveness and the number and quality of STEM educators — teacher effectiveness being one of the critical factors in students' academic success. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 33 percent of Texas students achieve proficiency in eighth-grade math — a strong indicator of future academic achievement in high school and postsecondary success — with significant performance gaps among African-American and Latinx students.
Grant recipients include the National Math and Science Initiative College Readiness Program, which will be expanded to three additional school districts in North Texas to ensure that underserved and female students have access to challenging AP coursework; the Urban Teachers teacher preparation residency program, which will use its grant to recruit and retain effective math and science teachers in the Dallas Independent School District as well as in KIPP and Uplift Education charter schools; the Teaching Trust Aspiring Leaders Program, a two-year competency-based program that enables teachers to earn their MEd in educational leadership, with a specialization in urban schools, from Southern Methodist University; and Texas 2036, which is working to help local and state policy makers make informed decisions with the help of data-driven resources.
"For years, TI and the TI Foundation have invested heavily in education initiatives with nonprofit partners in North Texas to improve teacher effectiveness and student learning outcomes in STEM-related subjects," said Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation and director of corporate philanthropy at TI. "NAEP data paints an alarming picture of why it's so important to invest in local education, and why we can't let students back away from math and science. We live in a world that demands STEM aptitude, yet too few students are prepared to succeed in such a world."
(Photo credit: Texas Instruments Foundation)