Excellence in Science, Mathematics,
and Engineering Education
Mathematics, science, engineering, and technology education are central to the education process
and have a profound effect on our Nation's economic competitiveness and on the quality of life of its
citizens. A citizenry well educated in the sciences, mathematics, and technology is thus essential to the
civic and economic health and well-being of the Nation.
The Vision that draws the Federal agencies together working in partnership with State and local
educators and industry to promote excellence in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology
is thus one which aims at:
Achieving an American performance in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in the classroom
and the workplace that is second to none.
The Goals that sustain this Vision are woven together with many of those found in "Goals 2000: Educate
America Act," and the recent report, "Science in the National Interest." Through the combined and
collaborative efforts of the Federal agencies working under the CET, much progress can be made in
making these visions come true.
- By the year 2000, all students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over
challenging subject matters, including science and mathematics.
- By the year 2000, the Nation's teaching force will have access to programs for the continued
improvement of their professional skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed
to instruct and prepare all American students for the next century.
- By the year 2000, U.S. students will be first in the world in mathematics and science achievement.
- By the year 2000, every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills
necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
- Produce the finest scientists and engineers for the 21st century.
These Goals will be pursued through a set of more specific objectives:
- Encourage science as a core requirement for grades K-16.
- Promote systemic reform of K-12 standards-based science, mathematics, technology, and
- Promote a competent and contemporary undergraduate science, mathematics, and engineering
enterprise for a diverse student population.
- Promote graduate and postdoctoral science and engineering education/training commensurate with
human resource requirements.
- Promote a competent, contemporary, and diverse scientific and technical work force.
- Focus interagency programming on science and mathematics supported by technological education
to ensure work force competency in a rapidly changing economy.
- Promote Federal efforts to enhance public understanding of science and apply technology to
- Promote efforts to determine the effectiveness of Federal investments in science, mathematics,
engineering, and technology education and training programs.
Member agencies of the Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education Subcommittee
initiated and continued many programs starting with the FY 1992 budgetary process.
1. SYSTEMIC REFORM AND STANDARDS-BASED EDUCATION
- 1.1 Systemic Reform in Urban and Rural Areas
- During 1993-1994 the National Science Foundation gave grants to 24 States and Puerto Rico
through its Statewide Systemic Initiatives, made awards to nine urban areas under its Urban Systemic
Initiatives to initiate planning for systemic reform, and awarded two development grants and four
planning grants in rural areas. These initiatives support comprehensive educational reform by bringing
together State and local education leaders, businesses, parents, and other community leaders for the
planning and implementation processes.
- 1.2 Standards-Based Education
- Collaborations have been formed among CET agencies, including the National Science Foundation,
the Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department
of Health and Human Services, to provide funding to support the development of standards-based
curriculum frameworks which would challenge the students. By the end of 1995, the National Academy
of Sciences is to complete and distribute standards for teaching science, science curriculum
development, and assessment.
2. TEACHER ENHANCEMENT ACTIVITIES AND REFORM
OF TEACHER CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
The CET agencies have also concentrated on teacher enhancement activities. CET agencies provided
more than 160,000 teachers in FY 1993 and FY 1994 with intensive, multiple-week professional
development designed to expose them to new content as well as improve their pedagogical skills.
The programs are designed to provide participants with a unique opportunity to explore new dimensions
of learning and teaching mathematics and science. Further, these efforts are tied to challenging standards
and will help ensure that teachers are prepared to teach their students to the standards.
In FY 1992, CET Federal agencies participated in a comprehensive inventory of Federally sponsored
education and training programs. Results of the inventory have been published in "A Guidebook to Excellence,"
which is available on-line and in hard copy. This publication is updated annually and describes
individual programs and partnership opportunities grouped by agency and by region, and includes points
of contact for education efforts which are Federally sponsored.
The CET member agencies also sponsor a publication entitled "A Resource Guide to Selected
Undergraduate Programs of 10 Federal Agencies."
CET member agencies are funding the identification or development of models and tools for the assessment of the
effectiveness of teaching techniques, tools, and the efficiency of student learning. Some programs are
focused on the development of models for the assessment of student progress relative to the mathematics
and science standards. Completion of these assessment tools is expected in 1996.
Programs have been initiated to develop realistic and widely applicable measures to identify successful
programs and exemplary products for use by agencies in directing their own efforts.
5. PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE
Several programs have been created to provide better access to and dissemination of the vast
knowledge base that exists within the laboratories and facilities of member agencies. Technology
has enabled agencies to make scientists readily available to assist with classroom experiments, experts
to answer questions, and better access to supercomputers and satellite information. Interactive
distributed education environments are being demonstrated around the world and government and private
companies have been enlisted to assist in developing this new classroom environment. These
experiments in information dissemination and distributed education are part of planning for facilitating
the process of lifelong learning.
New and Enhanced Efforts
In addition to the continuation of ongoing programs, many are being enhanced, and a number of new
programs are being introduced.
SCIENCE AS A CORE REQUIREMENT FOR GRADES K-16
1.1 Milestone for Development of Science as a Core Requirement
- Starting in FY 1996, CET will have in place a coordinated strategy for the development of science
as a core requirement for grades K-16.
SYSTEMIC REFORM OF K-12 STANDARDS-BASED SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS,
AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION
2.1 Milestones for Elementary and Secondary Organizational and Systemic Reform
- In FY 1995, CET agencies will make additional grant awards under Goals 2000 to assist States and
local areas in planning systemic educational change.
- In FY 1995, CET agencies will make available to all States information learned from the statewide
- In FY 1995 and FY 1996, systemic educational reform efforts will be expanded in up to twenty-five
urban and six major rural areas where large numbers of ethnic/racial and economically disadvantaged
populations are located.
- In FY 1996, CET will continue to conduct distance learning and distributed education.
2.2 Milestones for Elementary and Secondary Teacher Preparation and Enhancement
- Starting in FY 1995, all science and mathematics funds under the National Eisenhower Program will
support consortia of institutions of higher education, State education agencies, and local school districts in order to align preservice teacher
preparation and licensure provisions with new world-class mathematics and science standards. In
addition, funds from the State Eisenhower Program will support intensive, high-quality teacher
- In FY 1995, the Subcommittee will develop a Federal plan to create research scientist-teacher
partnerships and, in FY 1996, will pilot a program involving 2 to 5 States for teacher-researcher
partnerships, including government, academia, and industry with appropriate incentives.
- In 1995, at least 20 major K-8 system-wide teacher enhancement projects will be funded and
instructional materials databases will be on-line, providing information on supported curriculum and
materials for teachers, administrators, and parents, etc. In FY 1995, the Evaluation Working Group
will conduct an evaluation of the quality of teacher enhancement activities in Federal laboratories.
The evaluation will become part of the overall assessment of Federal laboratories' capabilities to conduct
teacher enhancement activities.
- By 1996, CET agencies will have 15 teacher education collaboratives in place, impacting 213,000
undergraduate students and engaging 8,000 faculty, and 7,000 master teachers.
- By FY 1999, 600,000 teachers -- with special emphasis on teachers from and of underrepresented
groups and those at the elementary level -- will receive intensive disciplinary and pedagogical
professional development through Federal agency teacher enhancement programs.
- By FY 2000, 25 consortia are projected to be in place, providing an estimated one-half of new elementary
and secondary mathematics and science teachers with new, more effective, intellectually and pedagogically
appropriate modes of pre-service teacher instruction, and one-third of all science and mathematics teachers
will graduate from schools participating in consortia-sponsored programs.
2.3 Milestones for Elementary and Secondary Standards and Assessments
- In FY 1995, a plan will be implemented on the Federal role in facilitating the adoption of the science
standards through the research and education communities.
- Beginning in FY 1995, CET agencies will continue to provide support and incentives for
implementation at the State and local level of challenging standards in mathematics and science education,
such as those developed by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Academy of
- In FY 1995-1999, through the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Department of
Education will continue conducting national and State-by-State assessments, on a regular basis, that
measure progress toward the National Education Goals.
- By FY 1998, agencies will provide support to enable completion of model assessments for use by
States, districts, teachers, and others to measure the performance of individual students against world-class
mathematics and science standards.
- By FY 1999, CET agencies will support the development of measures, definition of samples, and
administration of two sets of international assessments of student performance in mathematics and science.
2.4 Milestones for Elementary and Secondary Instructional Resources
- Beginning in FY 1995, CET agencies will ensure that all materials developed with Federal support
conform to challenging State or National standards such as the evolving National Academy of Sciences
science standards and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards for mathematics.
- By FY 1996, the National Science Foundation will ensure the development of a comprehensive set of
mathematics curriculum models for elementary through secondary levels and, by FY 1997, will have
supported the development of a comprehensive set of science curriculum models which will be available
for the elementary through secondary levels.
- CET agencies will continue to contribute to a process for review and revision of science and
mathematics standards and frameworks.
COMPETENT AND CONTEMPORARY UNDERGRADUATE SCIENCE,
MATHEMATICS, AND ENGINEERING ENTERPRISE FOR A
DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION
3.1 Milestones for Undergraduate Instructional Resources
- In FY 1995, CET agencies will continue an inventory of their currently available technical education
and training programs to develop goals, priorities, and strategies specifically for technical education
- In FY 1995, CET agencies will begin to provide support in associate degree granting institutions for
at least five centers of excellence in instructional programs in advanced technology fields.
- By FY 1996, the materials and instructional approaches developed through programs supported by
CET agencies to revitalize science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at colleges
and universities will benefit at least one-third of the students enrolled in lower-division studies.
- By FY 1999, the materials and instructional approaches developed through programs supported by
CET agencies to revitalize science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at colleges
and universities will benefit at least two-thirds of the students enrolled in lower-division studies.
3.2 Milestones for Undergraduate Faculty Preparation and Enhancement
- By FY 1996, CET agencies, in partnership with industrial organizations, will provide faculty
enhancement activities for at least 16,000 undergraduate faculty involved in teaching science, mathematics,
engineering, and technology.
- In FY 1995, CET agencies will sponsor seminars in different regions of the United States to help
science, mathematics, engineering, and technology faculty and administrators in associate degree-granting
institutions become involved with Federal programs and be aware of awards that have been made to
2- to 4-year institutions in collaboration with secondary schools and 4-year institutions.
- By FY 2000, CET agencies and industrial partners will provide faculty enhancement for at least
50,000 science, mathematics, engineering, and technology faculty members at both 2- and 4-year
3.3 Milestones for Undergraduate Student Incentives
- By FY 1997, CET agencies will have in place mechanisms to encourage research experience
incentives for undergraduate students in Federal research grant awards.
GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
EDUCATION/TRAINING COMMENSURATE WITH HUMAN
4.1 Milestones for Graduate Education and Instructional Resources
- In FY 1995, CET agencies will continue, through graduate research awards to institutions, to target
student support both into selected discipline areas of critical national need and into experimental
approaches to predoctoral education.
- Beginning in FY 1995, CET agencies will design and implement special initiatives to promote sorely
needed articulation between undergraduate and graduate education programs.
- Starting in FY 1995, CET agencies will encourage universities to broaden the structure and focus
of their graduate degree programs to ensure the competitiveness of their Ph.D. students in the
market place and the competency of the U.S. scientific work force overall.
4.2 Milestones for Graduate Faculty Preparation and Enhancement
- Starting in FY 1995, CET agencies will provide teaching preparation for graduate students in science,
mathematics, engineering, and technology fields.
4.3 Milestones for Graduate Student Incentives
- In FY 1995, CET agencies will inventory agency-sponsored programs targeted to underrepresented
groups in graduate education.
- Beginning in FY 1995, Federal agencies should expand financial and other types of incentives to
attract outstanding U.S.citizens and permanent residents to graduate programs in the fields of science,
mathematics, engineering, or technology in which greater participation is required to meet national needs.
- By FY 1997, CET agencies will improve the quality, timeliness, comprehensiveness, and availability of
national data on graduate education programs that they maintain.
COMPETENT, CONTEMPORARY, AND DIVERSE
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL WORK FORCE
5.1 Milestones to Increase Diversity
- In FY 1995, the first Presidential Awards for individuals and institutions with outstanding records in
mentoring students from underrepresented groups will be initiated.
- In FY 1995, the Federal member agencies will develop a plan for incorporating an evaluation criterion
related to increasing participation by underrepresented groups.
- Starting in FY 1996, CET will have in place and implement a coordinated strategy designed to foster
increased participation of underrepresented groups.
SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS SUPPORTED BY
TECHNOLOGICAL EDUCATION TO ENSURE WORK FORCE
COMPETENCY IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING ECONOMY
6.1 Milestones for Technological Education
- BY 1995, CET agencies will further efforts to increase technological education capabilities by
supporting three centers of excellence in instructional programs in advanced-technology fields at
associate degree-granting institutions and supporting the development of high technology learning
- By FY 1996, Federal laboratories will conduct specialized technical apprenticeship programs
reaching a minimum of 3,000 participants, including high school and community college graduates and
FEDERAL EFFORTS TO ENHANCE PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF
SCIENCE AND APPLY TECHNOLOGY TO LIFELONG LEARNING
7.1 Milestones for Public Understanding of Science and Technology
- In FY 1995, CET will develop and adopt a "vision" for all Federally funded public understanding of
science programs, and in FY 1996, will consider recommendations developed for a multidimensional
national assessment of public understanding of science and determine whether such an assessment is
feasible as well as produce and disseminate a resource guide of Federal public understanding of
science resources and activities.
- In FY 1995, CET will convene conferences to address issues, such as alternative sets of standards
for public understanding of science and public science literacy, identify data needs, and propose
effective education strategies with a special emphasis on reaching underserved populations.
- By FY 1999, CET agencies will expand their support for public understanding of science programs
targeted at decision-makers to significantly increase their understanding of science and public understanding
of science-related issues.
- In FY 1995, CET will complete a descriptive inventory of agency public understanding of science
DETERMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FEDERAL INVESTMENTS
IN SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS, AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND
8.1 Milestones for Evaluation and Dissemination
- In FY 1995, the Dissemination and Evaluation Working Group will conduct an evaluation of the
quality of teacher enhancement activities in Federal laboratories. The evaluation will become a
part of the overall assessment of Federal laboratories' capabilities to conduct teacher enhancement
- In FY 1995, CET will develop and disseminate an inventory of model articulation programs that
bridge the transition between secondary schools and 2- and 4-year institutions, between 2-year and
4-year institutions, and between undergraduate and graduate schools.
- In FY 1995, a program of research and study will determine the link between Federal resource
allocation for mathematics and science education, including amounts dedicated to teacher preparation
and enhancement, and long-term changes in student achievement in pertinent disciplines.
- By FY 1998, each agency will complete its first cycle of program evaluations and will disseminate
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