Partnership with National Institutes of Health Addresses Need for Science and Math Teachers

November 16, 2000
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is exploring the possibility of helping to meet a growing need for science and math teachers by employing recent science Ph.D.s.

The partnership program began this school year with the hiring of two first-year science teachers who were postdoctoral fellows at NIH. Others may soon follow. During this academic year, other NIH postdocs who are interested in the possibility of teaching science or math will be given time away from their NIH duties to shadow MCPS teachers and visit middle school and high school classrooms.

In addition, an article about the partnership in a recent issue of Science written by Michael Gottesman of NIH and Sandra Shmookler of MCPS has generated additional interest, drawing inquiries from nine postdocs from around the country who may be interested in teaching in the school system.

The partnership program has been structured to respond to key recommendations of the National Research Council, which include providing a compressed certification process and the ability of the Ph.D. participants to retain their ties to research.

Both new teachers are involved in an intensive in-service training program at MCPS that provides teacher certification, support and mentorship. NIH has guaranteed summer employment to the new teachers, to supplement their salaries and to enable them to keep their research skills current.

For more information about the program, contact Sandy Shmookler at 301-279-3432.


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