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Report: STEM here to stay

Deborah Kofie  a teacher at Whitehaven Elementary, helps her students prepare the rockets for lift-off. Whitehaven is a STEM school.
Deborah Kofie a teacher at Whitehaven Elementary, helps her students prepare the rockets for lift-off. Whitehaven is a STEM school.
Tajuana Cheshier/Chalkbeat TN

The education question of 2015 might well be: Which reforms funded by Tennessee’s dwindling Race to the Top money are sustainable?

A new report from the the Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation and Development suggests the state’s STEM (science, technology, engineer and math) network is one of them, and will continue even when the $500 million federal grant dries up this year.

The Tennessee Department of Education used a slice of the funds to establish ten STEM schools in the state, and six regional “hubs” of STEM education, where local districts have partnered with universities to increase learning in STEM subjects.

Researchers at the consortium found that not only are the STEM programs funded by Race to the Top prepared to exist on their own, but the programs are spreading STEM ideas to other schools in the state.

“The state and nation will reap rewards of the STEM investment for many years to come,” said Carla Johnson, a researcher who worked on the report.

The Consortium is also funded by Race to the Top money, and is based at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education. You can find the report here.

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