DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--President Barack Obama announced Monday that his “Educate to Innovate” campaign will mobilize greater support for military children’s math and science achievement and tasked the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) with helping lead that effort.
“This is not a one-time event. We will push and advocate. We are going to mobilize the government and private sector,” the President said at an event in the East Room of the White House. He said the White House wants to make sure that military children are receiving the support and education they need to thrive, especially when a parent is deployed and when making the difficult transition between different communities and schools.
As part of the new outreach to military families, the President called on NMSI to partner with the White House Office of Science and Technology, Department of Defense, and leading nonprofits and companies to expand access for military-connected children to attend Advanced Placement* classes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. NMSI has been at the forefront of public-private efforts to raise math and science achievement in the U.S. since 2007, when it was created with foundational support from Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
The new White House mandate reinforces the Initiative for Military Families (IMF) that was launched during the 2010-2011 school year by NMSI in four public schools that serve a large number of military families. It is expected that with the strong White House support and additional future funding, the innovative program will be expanded to 150 public high schools serving military populations.
“This important support from the White House will help ensure that students whose parents are defending our country get the math and science skills that they will need to succeed in today’s highly competitive, highly technical world,” said Tom Luce, CEO of NMSI.
Luce said the NMSI Initiative for Military Families is already having an impact in the first four schools selected for the program: Before the program was launched, there were approximately 600 students enrolled in AP math and science courses in those schools. Thanks to the NMSI program, that enrollment jumped to 994.
The President was joined at the special White House event Monday morning by First Lady Michelle Obama, who has made military families one of her special interests, and Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, who is an educator and has been assisting with a White House study of military family needs. Also attending were Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as a dozen cabinet officers, including Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The 28-page study, “Strengthening our Military Families,” was released at the event to announce key recommendations. NMSI is the only non-profit organization specifically named the report. In addition to the mandate to reinforce NMSI’s outreach to military families, the recommendations included: expanding access to counseling, protecting families from abusive financial practices, reducing homelessness among veterans, expanding career development and educational opportunities for military spouses, and increasing the availability of and quality of child care.
More than 160,000 young people in the U.S. have a parent currently deployed in active duty combat, and over one million children have had a parent deployed during the last eight years. In total, there are over two million children of active duty, National Guard, and reserve military personnel in public schools in the U.S.
About NMSI: NMSI was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to reverse the United States’ troubling decline in math and science education. NMSI is focused on improving the American public school system by replicating programs nationally that have documented success: the AP Training and Incentive Program (APTIP) to expand the number high school students mastering college-level Advanced Placement* courses, and UTeach, a program to recruit and prepare college students to become qualified math, science and computer science teachers. The APTIP approach currently is being implemented in 10 states: Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia. The UTeach program is being implemented by 22 universities across the United States and enrollment has tripled in the last three years.
A non-profit organization, NMSI has received major funding support for its ground-breaking national initiatives from Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, with additional support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin Corporation and O’Donnell Foundation.
About the Initiative for Military Families (IMF): The IMF is a partnership between NMSI and the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) to provide consistent, high-level math and science education in high schools serving military bases in the Unites States. The initiative brings college-level math and science courses to students through the Advanced Placement curriculum and provides continuity for students in that coursework when their families are transferred. The program was launched in the 2010-2011 school year in four public high schools: Ellison High School and Harker Heights High School, which serve Fort Hood in Texas, and Hopkinsville High School and Christian County High School, which serve Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
About the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP): APTIP increases dramatically the performance of high school students in rigorous college-level courses in math, science, and English. The comprehensive APTIP approach increases teacher effectiveness and student achievement through content training, teacher and student support, vertical alignment of teachers, open enrollment, and incentives. Schools participating in the program for the last two years in six states showed a 97.7 percent increase in AP exams passed in math, science, and English, which is seven times the national average.
About the Military Child Education Coalition: MCEC was established in 1998 to help military-connected children meet the challenges that frequent transitions pose during their educational years. The coalition provides transition services for students, parent workshops, information resources, and counseling resources to help military children and families thrive in challenging times.
For more information, visit www.nationalmathandscience.org.
*AP and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Board.