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STEM Education

FYI covers federal policies and programs focused on K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and informal education in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields, including those supported by the Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and NASA.

3 Jul 1997

The latest findings from the most recent international comparison of grade-school math and science achievement reveals some more optimistic results for the U.S. than earlier data. The first report based on the "Third International Mathematical and Science Study" (TIMSS), released in November, focused on eighth-graders (see FYI #159, 1996.) It showed that U.S. eighth-graders ranked slightly below the international average in math, and slightly above in science.

10 Jun 1997

There has been considerable discussion about the state of mathematics and science education in America. The American Institute of Physics and five of its Member Societies - American Association of Physicists in Medicine, American Association of Physics Teachers, American Astronomical Society, The American Physical Society, and the American Vacuum Society - have joined 41 other science, mathematics, and engineering organizations in endorsing the following statement sent to all Members of Congress and the President:

4 Jun 1999

"The Teacher Empowerment Act maintains an important focus on math and science, as under current law, but the legislation expands teacher training beyond just the subjects of math and science." Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA)

9 Mar 1999

The House is expected to take up H.R. 800, the Ed-Flex bill, tomorrow, Wednesday, March 10. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) will offer an amendment to H.R. 800 that would strengthen the emphasis on math-science teacher development. TODAY is the time to act if you wish to make your opinion known to your Representative regarding the Holt Amendment.

28 Dec 2001

As reported in FYI #153, conferees on the FY 2002 Labor-HHS- Education appropriations bill reached agreement on December 18. The conference report was passed by the House on December 19 and the Senate on December 20, and awaits President Bush's signature. Within the available funding for Department of Education programs, $12.5 million is provided for improving science and math instruction through the Math and Science Partnerships, which will be awarded in competitive grants by the Secretary of Education.

13 Dec 2001

For readers who support substantial funding for the new Education Department Math and Science Partnerships to improve science education, there may still be time to make your voice heard, but time is short. Conferees are now working to complete the bill that funds this program and, according to reports, may be considering only minimal funding for the Partnerships.

1 Apr 2003

Below, information is provided on the final FY 2003 appropriations for science education programs within the Department of Education, and within the National Science Foundation. It is of note that the Mathematics and Science Partnership program within the Education Department received $100.4 million for fiscal year 2003. This program was authorized at $450 million but only received minimal funding of $12.5 million in FY 2002. The FY 2003 appropriation represents an increase of over 700 percent, surpassing the threshold of $100 million needed to ensure that funding reaches all states.

12 Apr 2004

Now that many of the appropriations hearings for FY 2005 have been held, and appropriations subcommittees look ahead to drafting their spending bills for the coming fiscal year, Members of Congress are voicing their funding priorities in letters to key appropriators. A letter signed by many Members of Congress is likely to have more influence on the appropriations process. Therefore, as many recent FYIs have indicated, there is a flurry of "Dear Colleague" letters circulating on Capitol Hill at this time, each seeking additional signatures to letters expressing funding priorities.

3 Nov 2005

On October 26, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association, in separate letters, informed the Kansas State Department of Education that it could not use their organization's copyrighted materials in the revision of the Kansas science standards. Both organizations disagreed with the draft standards as they relate to the theory of evolution. The Academy also disagreed with the redefinition of science in the Kansas draft. The American Association for the Advancement of Science issued a statement strongly supporting the action taken by both organizations.

8 Sep 2005

At a meeting last week of the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee there was considerable optimism about the budgetary outlook for the Department of Energy's science programs, and a less promising prediction about FY 2006 funding for the National Science Foundation.

Most of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of a report by the Neutrino Scientific Assessment Group Subcommittee. The Advisory Committee, chaired by Richard F. Casten of Yale University, first heard from representatives of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.