TEACH/Here, a local urban teacher residency program, has joined more than 80 other organizations nationwide to support 100Kin10, a nationwide effort to prepare 100,000 instructors in science, technology, engineering and math.
Officials with TEACH/Here, which joined under its parent organization, the Public Education Foundation, said collaborating with 100Kin10 allows the local group to qualify for extra funding and a larger network of resources. A dozen corporations and foundations have pledged nearly $20 million to be allocated among members of 100Kin10.
The yearlong TEACH/Here program recruits new graduates or mid-career professionals in math and science fields to switch to teaching. Recruits are paired with master teachers in Chattanooga and Knoxville urban schools. Graduates leave the program with a year's teaching experience and a master's degree and commit to teaching math or science in urban schools for at least four years.
100Kin10 is overseen by the Carnegie Corp. of New York, Opportunity Equation and NewSchools Venture Fund. Member organizations include NASA, the National Science Foundation and the search engine giant Google.
Those organizations can offer valuable advice and support to member groups, said TEACH/Here Director Cheri Dedmon. While additional funding isn't a sure thing, TEACH/Here could receive technical, communication or development tools from members, Dedmon said.
"It's the pool of resources and people," she said. "For us to be able to have access to that type of think tank is an honor, I think."
To do their part, the Public Education Foundation and TEACH/Here have committed to preparing 100 math and science teachers within the next 10 years.
The residency program graduated 15 teachers last year and is expected to graduate 21 teachers this year.
Foundation President Dan Challener said the new partnership will help enhance the good work already happening locally.
"The goals of TEACH/Here are right in line with 100Kin10's and we are excited that the difference we're making locally will also have an impact on a national scale," he said in a news release.
The new network of organizations has received praise from President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
"President Obama and I believe that recruiting and preparing 100,000 excellent new teachers in the STEM fields is essential for our students' success in the 21st century knowledge economy," Duncan said last week in a news release. "We need an all-hands-on-deck strategy to make this happen."