U.S. Department of Education Launches New Initiative to Enhance … – US Department of Education

U.S. Department of Education
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) will host the YOU Belong in STEM National Coordinating Conference in Washington, D.C. as a key initiative for the Biden-Harris Administration. The Raise the Bar: STEM Excellence for All Students initiative is designed to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education nationwide. This new Biden-Harris Administration initiative will help implement and scale equitable, high-quality STEM education for all students from PreK to higher education—regardless of background— to ensure their 21st century career readiness and global competitiveness.
“Research shows how a sense of belonging in rich and rigorous classrooms is directly correlated to students’ long-term academic success. Moreover, the Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection continues to demonstrate that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately excluded from learning opportunities in STEM,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten. “Today, we are saying unequivocally to all students and educators that they belong in STEM and that they deserve to have rigorous and relevant educational experiences that inspire and empower them to reach their full potential as productive, contributing members of our nation’s workforce.”
The new initiative unites government, nonprofits, professional organizations, industries, philanthropies, and other community stakeholders to take bold action towards breaking down long-standing barriers for student success in the STEM fields. With the support of $120 billion dollars dedicated to K-12 education in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and all other federal education funds, the Department is galvanizing the broader education ecosystem to prioritize three goals for STEM education:
These goals provide strategic direction for the Department’s STEM-related efforts to meet the most pressing needs of students and educators. Further, through this initiative, the Department calls on all states, districts, schools, and STEM-connected organizations and industries to make specific, tangible commitments aligned to these goals to provide all students with the experiences and resources they need to succeed in STEM and in life.
In support of the initiative and its goals, the Department has:
Additionally, over 90 public and private sector organizations from across the country have made specific commitments to enhance STEM education. These commitments range from local grassroots efforts to initiatives that are national in scope. Several excerpts of example commitments include:
A full list of the organizations can be found here.
The YOU Belong in STEM National Coordinating Conference will welcome more than 200 STEM stakeholders from 30 states and territories in the Department’s Lyndon B. Johnson building in Washington, D.C. Participants will collaborate and learn about the importance of belonging in STEM, connect with students and educators about their experiences in STEM education, and develop new partnerships and commitments. We invite you to join us virtually for the opening (9 a.m. ET – 12:15 p.m. ET) and closing (4 p.m. ET – 4:45 p.m. ET) plenary sessions.
Today’s actions and conference build on the progress school communities have made this year in helping students and families recover from the pandemic, as they respond to President Biden’s call to enlist 250,000 adult volunteers to support student success. This past summer, the Department launched two national initiatives—the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS) and Engage Every Student — that focus on innovative ways to engage students and schools and support academic achievement and student wellness.
More information on the Raise the Bar: STEM Excellence for All Students initiative can be found here.
Our mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.


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