RTTT and STEM in Florida: Will it matter?

Curriculum Matters published a summary of the STEM initiatives in the winning RTTT Round 2 proposals.  CM blogger Erik Robelen pronounced all the winning states’ STEM plans “substantive.”  Here is how he summarized Florida’s initiative:

Florida will hire 20 STEM coordinators who will be “strategically assigned” to persistently low-performing schools and will work with school-site math and science coaches assigned by the districts.  The state will create a competitive program for rural district consortia to build and implement model high school STEM programs for gifted and talented students.  Also, a state advisory group will work to produce a Florida STEM plan by this December that will include strategies to increase enrollment in STEM curricula, increase student-achievement goals in math and science, and boost the percentage of Floridians who are STEM “literate.”

The reader can take a look at the entire Curriculum Matters post to see what other states’ plans are.

Here is the magnitude of the science challenge in Florida:

From Closing the Talent Gap, the January 2010 report from the Florida Council of 100 and the Florida Chamber of Commerce:  “…within five years [Florida] will need at least 100,000 more science and technology professionals than we are on track to produce.”

From an official in the Florida Department of Education:  “Florida students are pretty much last in the nation for science.”

Aside from providing financial support for the same folks who brought you PROMiSE, does Florida’s RTTT STEM piece meaningfully address the magnitude of the science and engineering challenge facing the state?

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