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NMSI, National CARES and Boeing Partner to Address STEM Education Equity for Black Students at Houston ISD

DALLAS, TX (April 21, 2022) – The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announces a partnership with the National CARES Mentoring Movement and Boeing to increase STEM education opportunities at Houston ISD through leveraging local assets. In collaboration with community-based partners, NMSI, Boeing and National CARES will address the systemic challenges faced by students experiencing poverty and students of color by supporting academic learning recovery and student wellness.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the math performance gap between students of color, students in poverty and their white or more affluent peers has widened dramatically over the past decade, especially in algebra readiness. The partnership will begin addressing opportunity gaps at Worthing Early College High School, providing both academic and social-emotional support for ninth-grade math students. Joint wellness, academic and careering mentoring—with a focus on representation and belongingness—are designed to move the needle on student performance, mindset and STEM trajectories.

The partnership will address three key areas of support:

  • Improve teacher practice and student readiness in STEM by implementing NMSI’s signature program, Laying the Foundation, in ninth-grade algebra

  • Leverage the National CARES Mentoring Movement community-mobilization initiative to address students’ academic and social-emotional needs through recruiting, training and engaging Black mentors

  • Engage local Boeing staff in career exploration programs to introduce high school students to STEM professionals and field-based workforce development experiences

“STEM education is one of the greatest levers to accessing opportunities,” said Dr. Bernard Harris, CEO of NMSI. “As a national leader in STEM education, one of our goals at NMSI is to make sure students—no matter their backgrounds—have options. We couldn’t be more grateful to partner with Boeing and the National CARES Mentoring Movement here in our home of Texas to accelerate the impact of our shared mission.”

Led by expert educators, NMSI’s Laying the Foundation (LTF) program helps teachers build and maintain subject matter expertise, enhance their leadership of diverse classrooms and prepare students to be confident, creative problem solvers. Through Laying the Foundation, NMSI provides hands-on training, vertical teaming strategies, culturally responsive classroom resources and small-group support through a blend of in-person and virtual delivery. LTF program implementation at Worthing ECHS is made possible by Boeing.

“Teachers are critical to helping lower dropout rates,” said Sam Whiting, Boeing Global Engagement director. “Ensuring they are equipped with the proper tools, resources and support will ensure that more students from all backgrounds and academic levels have an equitable chance to succeed. Boeing is proud to support the National Math Science Institute and National CARES Mentoring program because we believe all students can succeed, and we are committed to helping them reach their potential.”

National CARES will provide ninth-grade math students at Worthing ECHS direct academic and social-emotional support—addressing the effects of intergenerational Black poverty and laying a blueprint for community recovery. The National CARES Mentoring Movement is designed to bring hope and healing to Black students at risk of being overwhelmed by the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), providing students with adults and the support needed to thrive in school and life.

“We’re thrilled to partner with NMSI and Boeing to provide Worthing ECHS students with holistic programming that develops their social-emotional wellness in order to enhance their STEM learning,” said Kerri A. Osborne, Co-Executive Director of the National CARES Mentoring Movement. “It’s only by linking arms and aims that our children and communities will thrive and be on the pathway to economic mobility.”

A partnership announcement event took place at Worthing ECHS on April 20. Representatives from all collaborative organizations, including Dr. Harris, were present to celebrate the start of this journey.

“Houston ISD is proud to partner with NMSI, National CARES Mentoring Movement and Boeing on this important initiative to leverage opportunities for our students,” said Superintendent Millard House II. “I believe in the promise of equity. I’ve seen how it can change not only students’ life trajectories, but also those of future generations. I’ve seen it in the schools I’ve been a part of, and I’ve even seen it in my own life. A quality education is the root of all success.”

About NMSI
The National Math and Science Initiative works with communities and local school systems to increase access and achievement in rigorous education, particularly in STEM and especially for students most often underserved and underrepresented in STEM careers. Recent high school graduates who participated in NMSI’s flagship College Readiness Program were more likely than their peers to enroll in four-year college, persist in college, graduate in four years and pursue STEM or teaching careers. Learn more at www.nms.org.

About the National CARES Mentoring Movement
Founded in 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as Essence CARES while Susan L. Taylor was chief editor of Essence magazine, it is the mission of the National CARES Mentoring Movement to transform the lives of Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing masses of caring Black men and women to mentor and nourish, challenge and champion them. Compelled to do more than just write about the predictable destinies of impoverished Black children, in 2008, after 27 years as its chief editor, Susan Taylor handed the reins to the next generation at Essence Communications to concentrate fully on building the National CARES Mentoring Movement. To date, we have recruited more than 150,000 mentors who are serving, or have served, more than 200,000 children.

About Boeing
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at www.boeing.com.

About the Houston Independent School District
The Houston Independent School District is the largest district in Texas and the eighth largest in the United States, with 276 schools and nearly 197,000 students. The 333-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area, with more than 27,000 employees.