Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) presents a significant opportunity to enhance the great work underway in so many communities across the country to make STEM learning a priority and build the STEM human capital pipeline. The new law recognizes the critical need to solicit feedback from interested stakeholders who care about the work of advancing educational opportunity – including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, foundations, and teacher organizations – and creates many occasions for stakeholders to weigh-in. Most significantly, ESSA gives every community member a voice in advocating for how the law will be implemented because, as opposed to No Child Left Behind, ESSA leaves the most critical programmatic and funding decisions to states, districts, and schools.
This resource includes suggested recommendations for Every Student Succeeds with STEM partners’ use as they seek to promote policies that advance high-quality STEM learning, by bringing new, excellent STEM educators into the classroom, supporting the work of existing STEM teachers, and enabling high-quality STEM learning for all students. Principally, this resource recommends that stakeholders focus on three separate, but mutually reinforcing, areas in ESSA implementation: unlocking federal funds to support STEM activities; addressing issues of equity through STEM; and including STEM as a school improvement strategy.