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The White House says the Obama administration plans five new public-private STEM training investments of more than $250 million. That will help prepare more than 10,000 new math and science teachers, and retrain more than 100,000 existing teachers.The boost to so-called STEM efforts – STEM for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – has long been a desire of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, regardless of political party, as well as the aerospace and defense industry. The latest move, if carried out, would come on top of another $260 million outlined by the administration last November under the Educate to Innovate initiative.“The quality of math and science teachers is the most important single factor influencing whether students will succeed or fail in science, technology, engineering and math,” Obama said.In one effort, NASA will launch a pilot program to prime STEM learning opportunities for students during the summer - “with an emphasis on broadening participation of underrepresented groups,” according to the White House.The importance of STEM education to U.S. competitiveness was spotlighted in the 2005 National Academies study Rising Above the Gathering Storm. The George W. Bush administration and a Democratic-led Congress trumpeted the related America Competes Act of 2007, but then squabbled over funding the multipronged effort.
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