STEM education: University

A House bill to amend and reauthorize the Higher Education Act includes several new provisions to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It incorporates ideas introduced in an earlier bill by House Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) to offer loan interest forgiveness to students who teach or work in STEM fields after college, as well as provisions to encourage scholarships for STEM students and to help states improve science and math education.

29 Aug 2005

A major topic of conversation in Washington science policy circles these days is how to maintain the U.S. competitive position in the global marketplace. In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Bush proposed an "American Competitiveness Initiative" to foster American innovation and global leadership (see FYIs #16, 17, and 18).

3 Feb 2006

Already this year, the House Science and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Research and Science Education has examined many aspects of U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, with more hearings to come. Among the topics explored so far, two recent hearings addressed the role of federal R&D mission agencies in K-12 education, while an earlier hearing focused on a legislative proposal to improve the science laboratory experience for high school students.

22 Jun 2007

A review of STEM education programs across the federal government finds that few programs have been rigorously evaluated and little is known about their impact on students.

25 May 2007

Last month the House passed several competitiveness-related bills addressing science and math education, while the Senate passed a single piece of broader, comprehensive competitiveness legislation. All three bills were passed with significant bipartisan support. The question now is how and when the two chambers will reconcile the bills in conference. It is possible that the Senate will separate out portions of its bill and conference them with the complementary House bills.

18 May 2007

No Child Left Behind "has had significantly more success in assessing student performance than in improving it." - The Commission on No Child Left Behind

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education reform continues to be a high priority on Capitol Hill this spring, driven by the need to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), and by the recognition that excellence in STEM education is an important factor in the nation's ability to remain globally competitive. Some developments are highlighted below.

16 Apr 2007

The 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) report has been released, and the results are decidedly mixed. While average United States math scores have risen from 1995 levels, average science scores have stagnated. Moreover, the US continues to lag behind a number of European and Asian nations.

22 Dec 2008

There is considerable discussion about the Obama Administration's expected approach to science, technology, and STEM education programs. A comprehensive outline of the incoming Administration's plans can be found at, the website of the Office of the President-Elect.

The website lists 23 major agenda items, among which is "Technology." The section on Technology begins by citing Obama's February 2007 Springfield IL announcement speech:

9 Dec 2008

With less than two weeks before the election, this FYI and FYI #102 will offer the presidential candidates’ positions on education policy. On October 21, surrogates from the McCain and Obama campaigns met at Teachers College of Columbia University to debate their candidate’s plans for education reform.

24 Oct 2008

With less than two weeks before the election, a series of FYIs will offer the presidential candidates’ positions on education policy. Below is an excerpt from the October 15 presidential debate when Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama pressed their education reform agendas. Although science and math were addressed by both candidates, comments on other components of the education system are also included as they will undoubtedly have a bearing on STEM subjects. Excerpts from an October 21 Education Week debate between McCain and Obama’s education advisers will follow in FYI #103.

24 Oct 2008


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