CCST's Cal TAC Initiates STEM Teaching Excellence Program
December 16, 2014
The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has awarded a grant to the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC) at the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), to help Cal TAC build a new
STEM Teaching Excellence Program (STEP) designed to strengthen STEM teaching quality and leadership
"Thanks to this support, Cal TAC will build on its efforts to date in the area of digitally enhanced
education," said Andy Kotko, Chair of Cal TAC and a first grade teacher at Folsom Cordova Academy in
Sacramento, California. "It will allow us to engage Cal TAC teachers through specific regional
outreach and contribute to teacher leadership efforts throughout the state, as well as help inform
decision makers through new fellowship placements."
Cal TAC is a group of highly accomplished mathematics and science teachers working to improve STEM
education in California. Formed by CCST in 2005, Cal TAC is comprised of a competitively selected
group of award-winning, highly accomplished K-14 teachers representing a cross-section of grade
levels, subject matter, and communities throughout the state.
STEP will work to engage K-14 students in their learning and help them thrive in their academic
lives and beyond. Through teamwork and collaboration, the new Cal TAC program will facilitate Cal
TAC's efforts to focus on three pillars:
- Practice: Establish and sustain a respected network of recognized, highly accomplished
sought-after teachers who will serve as ambassadors and leaders of high-quality STEM education
- Policy: Promote informed decision making at the state level by providing the policy community
with a cadre of knowledgeable, respected and reliable advisors on K-12 STEM education;
- Partnerships: Broaden the reach of STEM organizations, such as CSL Net, by supporting a
network of thought partners drawn from policy, education leadership, research, philanthropic, and
non-profit communities to improve teaching and learning through public-private partnerships.
Cal TAC also has plans to expand its membership and increase regional approaches through the Cal TAC
teacher alumni as a conduit to identify, promote and share best practices in the STEM disciplines
throughout the state and to encourage the placement of fully prepared and effective STEM teachers in
"We are honored that the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has chosen to award us this grant," said CCST
Executive Director Susan Hackwood. "The Foundation's support will enable Cal TAC to continue its
legacy of valuable work on improving STEM education, reaching even more teachers and policy makers
throughout the state."