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Statewide program aims to boost math and science teacher performance

Gates Foundation

It’s an initiative that aims to boost student interest in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering across the state. The Master Teachers program is also aiming to ensure teachers perform at their highest level.

More than 250 current Math and Science teachers will be chosen from the Mid-Hudson, North Country, central New York and western New York regions to participate in the program, where they’ll mentor undergraduate education students and early career teachers.

Buffalo State was chosen as the base camp for the master teachers in the western New York region. Dean of the School of Education at Buffalo State Wendy Paterson says the program will also develop workshops and additional coaching opportunities.

“This focuses on Math and Science where we really need the support in doing two things. First, attracting talented people into the profession and then supporting them with best practices,” said Paterson.

The selected Master Teachers will be working in schools K-12 throughout the region and receive a $15,000 annual stipend for four years. Paterson said the teachers will also participate in research and professional development for themselves through Buffalo State and the University at Buffalo. She says it’s crucial to boost interest in STEM subjects.

“When you find a teacher of mathematics or a teacher of science who is skilled, who’s passionate, insightful, inspiring, that is worth everything. It can mean the difference between a student graduating from high school and going on to a professional career and that student not,” said Paterson.

“We want the best possible teachers in every New York classroom educating our children," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As part of the state's work to transform our education system and put students first, we are committed to investing in great teachers to educate our students and create a highly-trained workforce to drive our future economy. This program will reward those teachers who work harder to make the difference and whose students perform better as a result.”

Eligible teachers must be ranked “highly effective,” have a minimum of 4 years teaching experience, hold a NYS teaching certification and have their primary teaching responsibilities be in the areas of math and science in grades six through twelve.

Applications for the Master Teacher positions will be available from July 1st on the NYSED.GOV website. The first selection will be announced by September.

SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Cortland were also chosen to be base camps for their respective region.

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