MƒA was founded in 2004 as a nonprofit organization committed to keeping outstanding teachers teaching in the classroom and making a lasting impact on their students, their schools, and their communities.
The organization was founded by Jim Simons, mathematician and philanthropist, who along with his wife Marilyn Simons, also founded the Simons Foundation, which advances frontiers in mathematics research and the basic sciences. The Simons Foundation provides a substantial portion of funding for MƒA, and Jim Simons chairs the MƒA Board of Directors.
Initially, MƒA was established to bring new mathematics teachers into the profession, who were supported by experienced teachers in the MƒA Master Teacher Fellowship. In 2014, the MƒA board decided to build on the success of the MƒA Master Teacher Fellowship, opening it to teachers of all STEM subjects in grades K-12 and growing the program to support 1,000 teachers annually, or roughly 10% of the STEM teaching force in NYC.
MƒA has invested more than $300 million in its fellowship program for NYC STEM teachers and has advocated for similar programs nationwide.