Statement by President Diann Woodard In Response To President Obama’s Proposed Master Teacher Corps

This past Wednesday the Obama administration announced a plan to create a Master Teacher Corps of high performing teachers to help boost student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States. To begin, 50 teachers would be selected in 50 high-demand areas across the country to mentor fellow teachers. For their expertise and leadership, teachers would be paid up to an additional $20,000 a year. The program would expand over a four-year period to over 10,000 teachers. Educators accepted into the program would be required to commit to participate in the program for multiple years and would be selected based on “national benchmarks and criteria such as: demonstrated effectiveness in teaching one or more STEM subjects, content knowledge, and contributions to the improvement of teaching and learning.” The program is part of the president’s long-term effort to close the achievement gap between American students and their international peers.

In response to this proposal, President of the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), AFL-CIO, released the following statement:

“While, AFSA appreciates the administration’s efforts to improve educational opportunities for students in math, science, technology, and engineering, this plan is only a start in the right direction. AFSA believes the best solution to providing students with higher quality teachers and educators is for all districts to have equal access to quality teachers and educators. We cannot continue to make the same mistake of turning our students’ right to a quality education into a competitive process among students, schools, and districts. Additionally, this proposal draws $100 million from the Teacher Incentive Fund, which is dedicated for teachers AND principals. Principals are the instructional leaders of our educational communities and we cannot turn a blind eye to the importance of training administrators.

For the full story, go to the following resources:

Obama plans $1B effort to build “Master Teacher Corps” of elite math, science teachers

Obama turns to ‘master teachers’ to improve US math scores