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Strategic Planning Document -
Education & Training


Over a decade ago, America was called "A Nation at Risk" [1] because American children were poorly educated compared to children in many other countries. This national report declared that America was failing its children and jeopardizing its future.

The report reflected and intensified rising concern at every level of Government, within the business and academic communities, and among parents and local leaders. In the 1980's, the Nation and the Federal Government began to respond to the challenge of changing the course of education. The culmination of that effort was the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" [2] -- legislation passed by Congress in 1994 that outlined daring steps to bring about fundamental and permanent change.

In 1993, the President's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was created to renew and reshape the science and technology components of the Federal enterprise. Goals, objectives, and priorities were developed collaboratively in an interagency forum with private sector input. The result was a set of policy principles and a set of Federal goals which represent a common framework to guide the Administration's science and technology investments.

Achieving these goals will require an ongoing supply of imaginative scientists and engineers, an educated and trained work force and wide public understanding. Thus NSTC has a major stake in the effort to revitalize education and training in America as well as the assignment to mobilize the talent and resources of most, if not all, of the Federal agencies as part of this effort. To this end, it created the Committee on Education and Training (CET), with broader scope and responsibility than the previous committee which addressed education at the Federal level -- the Committee on Education and Human Resources (CEHR) -- and with a larger roster of member agencies and departments.

Committee on Education and Training (CET)

Comprised of many Federal member agencies and departments, the CET utilizes the interagency process to coordinate Federal education and training programs and education research and development efforts using the common set of Federal policy principles, goals, priorities, and evaluation criteria.

CET Charter

The CET advises and assists the NSTC to increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of Federal efforts in education and training through attention to research and development efforts and related policies that cut across agency boundaries. The CET provides a formal mechanism for interagency coordination of programs that:

  1. Support research and development in education and training;

  2. Promote the use of technology to enhance lifelong learning; and

  3. Promote excellence in science, mathematics, and engineering education at all levels.

The CET is chartered to:

  • Promote collaboration and partnerships among CET agencies, State and local governments, and with private entities;

  • Develop a balanced and comprehensive research and development program;

  • Establish a structure to improve the way the Federal Government plans and coordinates education research and development; and

  • Develop education budget crosscuts across agencies as well as priorities for education and training policy for all relevant Federal agencies.

Two subcommittees were formed to meet these responsibilities: 1) The Subcommittee on Research and Development in Education and Training, formed in 1994; and 2) the Subcommittee on Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education, with its roots going back to efforts started in 1990.

CET Vision

To coordinate and focus Federal efforts in education and training so that they become a powerful force in helping Americans meet the challenges of the 21st century by:

  • Ensuring all Americans access to quality education and training tailored to their individual learning and workplace needs; and

  • Achieving an American performance in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in the classroom and the workplace that is second to none.

CET Strategy

The CET has developed this Strategic/Implementation Plan to guide the Federal effort in research and development in education and training, and in promoting excellence in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education. By following this plan, Federal agencies can work as an integrated, coordinated team focused on a multiyear approach for managing and guiding efforts in accordance with the policy principles and goals previously set forth. The CET Plan provides a framework within which policy, programmatic, and budgetary decisions can be made and assessed.

The CET strategy is intended to address the entire education continuum -- elementary and secondary education, undergraduate and graduate education, public understanding of science, work force training, and lifelong learning. It supports the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" legislation, "Science in the National Interest," and the NSTC emphasis on research and development in education technologies and learning productivity.

This Plan requires maintaining the integrity and strength of each program. They are interdependent, and each plays a critical role in meeting the relevant national education goals as well as working to ensure America's future economic and technological competitiveness by making today's education and training relevant to tomorrow's workplace.

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Education & Training - Table of Contents




Committee on Education & Training

Executive Summary

Goals' Footer

Research & Development in Education & Training

Excellence in Science, Math & Engineering Education