Excellence In Mathematics And Science Teaching


The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the Nation's highest commendation for K-12 math and science teachers.  The award includes a certificate and a $7,500 grant given to the recipient’s school, to be spent under the awardees’ direction over a three-year period. Candidates are chosen on the basis of their teaching performance, background, and experience. PAEMST is administered through the National Science Foundation, and coordinatedby OSTP.  One science and one math teacher at each level are ultimately recommended as Presidential Awardees.  They must be U.S. citizens who teach in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, or the U.S. territories.

This award was established by the Education for Economic Security Act (P.L. 98-377), and amended by the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-570).  The awards are given annually to 108 elementary and 108 secondary teachers, (four from each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and Department of Defense Education Activity).  The elementary school teachers have been recognized since 1990 as a result of the 1988 amendment to the law.


In 1998, the First Lady addressed the 107 elementary school and 107 secondary school teacher recipients. All of the more than 1,000 teacher awardees since 1983 are now linked electronically and have been used as a comparison group in a national study of math and science teachers.



 In summer 1996 the President received letters from industry leaders, many of the nation’s governors, university presidents, and Nobel Laureates who observed that the government-university partnership was under stress, a concern shared by the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. Government policies relating to research financing and management, and policies pertaining to graduate education and training were cited as the principal causes of stress. Frequent changes in government practices were part of the problem, as were policies that were eroding the vital interconnections between research and education.In response to these expressions of concern, the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology issued Presidential Review Directive - 4 (NSTC/PRD-4), which called on the NSTC to assess the government-university partnership and recommend steps to improve it. The goals of the review are to identify ways to further promote cost-effective university-based research, fair allocation of research costs, and a strengthened research-education linkage, all while maintaining appropriate accountability for expenditure of public funds. The NSTC created an interagency Task Force comprised of representatives from the six major research funding agencies, as well as OMB, to assess the policies, programs, and regulations that shape the government-university research partnership, associated educational activities, and research administration. More specifically, the focus of the Task Force is in three areas: regulatory requirements as they affect both parties in the partnership; the diversity of agency administrative mechanisms for government-university interactions;and support mechanisms for developing the next generation of researchers.The Task Force solicited the views of university associations and Federal agencies, asking them to identify high priority issues. Their responses have provided crucial input as the Task Force develops its report and recommendations.


The NSTC Task Force has sent its draft report and recommendations to the Committee on Science for approval. The next step will require approval by the full NSTC. The final report is planned for release in the spring 1999.

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