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Published on Dec 7, 2012
Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Grant Announcement - December 7, 2012 (Gov. Transcript Below)
Christie: "Good afternoon everybody, and thank you for coming. I'd like to welcome Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, for being here for today's announcement. We met before and discussed this and glad that we're able to be here today to make this announcement. Over the last eighteen months, my administration has focused on several key areas in the area of education: talent, innovation, academics, and performance in order to strengthen and improve the education across our entire state, and I have to give great credit and thanks to the education commissioner, Commissioner Cerf, for all the work that he has done in leading this effort across the state. Chris, thank you for what you've done.
Through our collective efforts, whether passing the Teach New Jersey Act to reform the state's tenure process, and the evaluation system for all of our school districts, or the recent agreement on a landmark contract in Newark, where teachers will earn raises and be eligible for additional bonuses based on performance, performance that they're accomplishing in the classroom, we're recognizing that research has shown us for years great teachers matter, and so their effectiveness matters for our kids, and strengthening our educators with high expectations and strong support and training systems can make a life-changing difference for our children. And, you know, as a parent, I know that I want the best for my children and parents across New Jersey want the best for their children no matter where they live. I believe our work demonstrates unequivocally that we are going to accept nothing less for any of New Jersey's children, no matter what their zip code.
So with today's announcement of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, we are reaffirming our commitment to investing in teacher talent by creating a new pipeline for recruiting highly-qualified teaching candidates and training them, so they can generate the greatest positive learning outcomes for children all across New Jersey. The fellowship, which has nearly $9 million in support from a consortium of foundations and private funders, and I see Chris Daggett here from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, one of the major supporters of Chris, and Chris, thank you for the foundation's support and for your support as well. We'll provide $30,000 stipends to recipients in exchange for their commitment to teach in a high-need urban or rural school in New Jersey for three years with ongoing mentoring. Partnerships between our higher education institutions and our school districts are essential, and I'm thrilled that my Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks, who also has a bit of a history in the Department of Education as well, is here today, and leading the charge along with the College of New Jersey, Montclair State, Rowan, Rutgers University in Camden, and William Paterson, are all taking part in this venture along with our regular secondary and elementary schools. I'd also like to point out that New Jersey continues to lead the way in a reform—we're the first East Coast state to participate in the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, and we're proud to have that distinction.
Beyond just investing in education, this demonstrates a commitment to growing our economy.The fellowship, which is specifically targeted to recruiting teachers with strong backgrounds in the STEM fields, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These are fields that experts forecast as forming the basis of the global economy over the next decade. In the US Department of Commerce, they have projected that STEM occupations will grow by 17% from now until 2018, compared to 10% growth in non-STEM occupations. That means approximately 2.8 million new STEM job openings. Through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, we'll be able to help transform the way teacher candidates are prepared, so they can equip our students with the skills they need to fill those jobs, and to make our state and our country more competitive in this economy.
And so, I want to thank Arthur for approaching me some time ago about taking this on. I want to thank Chris and Rochelle for stepping up to the plate and making it happen, and I'm proud to introduce Arthur. I'll be back to take questions after that, but I want to introduce our partner in this, Arthur Levine, the president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation."