STEM education: University

A day before passing its version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (H.R. 1), the Senate voted overwhelmingly (91-8) to approve a non-binding "Sense of the Senate" amendment offered by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) regarding the teaching of biological evolution. The amendment was approved on June 13 by all of the Democrats who were present and all but eight of the Republicans present; those eight reportedly opposed it as inappropriate federal intrusion into a local matter.

28 Jun 2001


After six weeks of floor debate, the Senate on June 14 passed its version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), by a margin of 91- 8. (The House passed its ESEA bill by a 384-45 vote on May 23.) The next step for this bill, which reauthorizes the majority of the Department of Education's K-12 programs, is a House-Senate conference, but conferees have not been named yet. Reportedly, the change of majority in the Senate and ensuing negotiations over Senate organization have caused some delay.

21 Jun 2001

As reported in FYI #59, several reports have been issued this year by BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent), an organization seeking to promote diversity in science and engineering academia and industry. BEST recently released reports on "what is working" to improve diversity in pre-K-12 education and in the workplace.

10 May 2004

Should the National Science Board establish another commission to make recommendations on improving U.S. science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education? What have been the impacts of previous studies, and why are U.S. students still in the middle of the pack in international math and science comparisons?

21 Nov 2005

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


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