Not only is the nation experiencing a shortage of qualified math and science teachers, but the problem is compounded by research that shows low-income schools have more underqualified teachers. About 42 percent of single subject public school math teachers and nearly one-third of single subject science teachers aren’t fully credentialed. Teacher shortages in California for math and science, have been temporarily resolved by issuing emergency credentials to teachers who haven’t passed subject exams or completed preparation programs. The highest concentration of unqualified teachers are at poor urban schools. Last week, the National Assessment of Education Progress reported about 40 percent of high school seniors scored below the basic level in math. A student demonstrating a basic level in math has the ability to convert decimals into fractions, for example. National Assessment Governing Board Chairman Darvin Winick said the U.S. was “sleeping through a crisis.” CGU professor David Drew, who studies education and management trends at the School of Educational Studies, is working to address the crisis. He was the principal investigator for the grant proposal to the National Science Foundation for the Noyce grant. “The gist of our proposal was this: we have an excellent teacher preparation program at CGU – we have outstanding students graduating from the Claremont Colleges who may not know what steps they could take to become math and science \ teachers,” Drew said. “This grant is to link the Claremont Colleges and provide fellowships as they continue in their masters program.” The comprehensive proposal was rewarded with a $500,000 grant from NSF for the Noyce Special Program in 2006. The program begins in June with an intensive summer of coursework. By September, future teachers intern at public schools and continue their coursework on Saturdays. In the following academic year, graduates secure their teaching credentials and teach full-time at a local school district. CGU students have taught in the Claremont, Pomona and Ontario school districts. Seven students have completed the program and are teaching at urban districts in Southern California. The 15-month program ensures students leave with a master’s degree and teaching credentials for their field. Michael Bergeron, 23, a graduate in mathematics is also in the program. After teaching at a private school in Torrance for a year, Bergeron enrolled in the Noyce program and teaches math at Montclair High School. Bergeron was wary about the transfer.However, he has had no problems aside from regular 16-year-old shenanigans. “For the most part, they seem very engaged,” Bergeron said. “I really have enjoyed working with them.” [email protected] (909) 483-9356160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CLAREMONT – Cory Edgmon wanted to teach at a “low-income, low-performing” high school like the one she attended. “I knew I wanted to teach at a high school like that,” said Edgmon, 23. “Where there’s a need for teachers who want to teach …” While studying for a degree in mathematics at Claremont McKenna College, she learned of the college’s Noyce Special Program that recruits math and science majors to help fill the shortage of teachers in those subjects in California schools. Edgmon learned the program was available at Claremont Graduate University and quickly enrolled.