Economic growth in the 21st century will be driven by our nation’s ability to both generate ideas and translate them into innovative products and services. Governors have been working to increase the proficiency of all students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) because STEM occupations are among the highest paying, fastest growing and most influential in driving economic growth and innovation. Individuals employed in STEM fields enjoy low unemployment, prosperity and career flexibility.

As governors look for the best strategies to strengthen state economic performance, states and their education institutions have taken the following actions to address these challenges: adopted rigorous math and science standards and improved assessments; recruited and retained more qualified classroom teachers; provided more rigorous preparation for STEM students; used informal leaning to expand math and science beyond the classroom; enhanced the quality and supply of STEM teachers; and established goals for postsecondary institutions to meet STEM job needs.