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The Progress of Education Reform - Secondary STEM Education PDF - The next generation of Americans will likely require a solid grounding in mathematics and science for their creativity to be maximized in a world increasingly dependent on technological advances for prosperity and security. As the majority of Americans do not earn a postsecondary degree, it is essential that students be given this solid grounding during the elementary and secondary years. (Kyle Zinth, Education Commission of the States, July 2008)...

A Synthesis of Recommendations for Improving U.S. Science and Mathematics Education MS Word PDF - The year 2005 saw a number of reports calling for actions to ensure the future economic vitality of the United States, frequently through the improvement of science and mathematics education. This trend will likely continue into 2006 as policymakers at the state and federal levels look for ways to ensure the United States remains economically competitive and secure in the emerging 21st century economy. This document provides a brief summary of the major recommendations of six relevant reports. (Kyle Zinth, Education Commission of the States, February 2006)...

Keeping America Competitive: Five Strategies to Improve Mathematics and Science Education PDF - This paper, which is based on the experts’ discussions, includes a brief overview of the importance of math and science education to U.S. global competitiveness and the performance of U.S. students on recent national and international tests. It culminates in five key strategies to policymakers, university leaders, education researchers, and math and science educators. (Charles Coble and Michael Allen, Education Commission of the States, July 2005)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Science and Mathematics Education PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform focuses on what is more and more seen as a major stumbling block to change and improvement: the education, training and classroom practices of the nation’s K-12 science and math teachers. It summarizes recent research on the dimensions, causes and already emerging consequences of the problem, and looks at efforts under way at the national and state levels to address it. (Suzanne Weiss, The Progress of Education Reform, vol. 6, no. 1, Education Commission of the States, December 2004)...

No Time to Waste: The Vital Role of College and University Leaders in Improving Science and Mathematics Education MS Word - This paper focuses on what is increasingly seen as the major stumbling block to fundamental and lasting change – the quantity, quality and classroom practices of science and mathematics teachers – and on what higher-education leaders can and must do address it. (Ted Sanders, Education Commission of the States, October 2004)...

Encouraging Girls in Math and Science - This practice guide formulates specific and coherent evidence-based recommendations that educators can use to encourage girls in the fields of mathematics and science. The target audience is teachers and other school personnel with direct contact with students, such as coaches, counselors and principals. The practice guide includes specific recommendations or educators and the quality of evidence that supports these recommendations. (Diane Halpern, Joshua Aronson, Nona Reimer, Sandra Simpkins, Jon Star and Kathryn Wentzel, Institute for Education Science, September 2007)...

The State of Middle School and High School Science Labs in the Kansas City Region - This study outlines the findings of an audit assessing the state of science labs across 30 districts in the Kansas City region. The audit results indicate that the majority of science labs in the region do not meet national standards and that much work needs to be done to bring school science labs up to standards. The audit identified five areas of concern and this report summarizes each area and makes recommendations for improvement. (Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, August 2007)...

Addressing the STEM Challenge by Expanding Specialty Math and Science High Schools - Much attention has lately centered on the issue of American competitiveness in a global economy requiring workers with a quality education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. This report argues that the role of specialty mathematics and science schools has been overlooked, and that funding the expansion of these specialty schools must be an important part of any solution to the STEM challenge. The report recommends tripling enrollment in math and science high schools to reach 140,000 by 2012. (Robert Atkinson, Janet Hugo, Dennis Lundgren, Martin Shapiro, and Jerald Thomas, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, March 2007)...

Improving Mathematics and Science Education - Learn from mistakes. That's good advice, whether coming from business gurus or seasoned parents. But it is advice rarely applied in the typical elementary mathematics lesson. Teachers can modify how the usually teach and significantly boost students' achievement. (WestEd, January 2007)...

Important, but Not for Me: Parents and Students in Kansas and Missouri Talk About Math, Science and Technology Education - There is growing consensus among the nation's leaders that unless schools do more to train and nurture a whole new generation of young Americans with strong skills in math, science and technology, U.S. leadership in the world economy is at risk. This report finds that just 25% of Kansas/Missouri parents think their children should be studying more math and science; 70% think things "are fine as they are now." The report also explains why parents and students are so complacent in this area and what kinds of changes might be helpful in building more interest in and support for more rigorous mathematics, science and technology courses. (Alison Kadlec, Will Friedman and Amber Ott, Public Agenda, 2007)...

Improving Mathematics and Science Education: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Relationship Between Reform-Oriented Instruction and Student Achievement - Reform-oriented teaching describes a collection of instructional practices that are designed to engage students as active participants in their own learning and to enhance the development of complex cognitive skills and processes. This report presents the findings of a multiyear National Science Foundation-funded study of the effectiveness of reform-oriented science and mathematics instruction. It builds on an earlier RAND study, called the Mosaic project, which found “a weak but positive relationship” between reform-oriented practices and student achievement. This study – called Mosaic II – extends the earlier research in two important ways. First, it incorporates more-diverse indicators of student exposure to reform-oriented practices, including innovative, vignette-based measures. Second, it follows students for three years in order to measure the relationship after longer exposure to reform practices. Also available is a document summary. (Vi-Nhuan Le, Brian M. Stecher, J. R. Lockwood, Laura S. Hamilton, Abby Robyn, Valerie L. Williams, Gery Ryan, Kerri A. Kerr, Jose Felipe Martinez and Stephen P. Klein, RAND, September 2006) ...

Teaching Science in Five Countries: Results From the TIMSS 1999 Video Study - This report presents the results of a study of 8th-grade science teaching, conducted as part of the TIMSS 1999 Video Study. The nations include the United States and four countries that outperformed the United States on the 1995 TIMSS: Australia, the Czech Republic, Japan and the Netherlands. The report examines commonalities and differences regarding instructional organization, science content and student actions. Also available are report highlights. (National Center for Education Statistics, April 2006)...

Lessons from a Decade of Mathematics and Science Reform: The Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement Initiative - This report presents the findings from a comprehensive study of the content-focused teacher professional development. Results are based upon ten years of data, including questionnaires, observations and interviews with teachers of science, mathematics, and/or technology engaged in the National Science Foundation-supported Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement Initiative. (Eric R. Banilower, Sally E. Boyd, Joan D. Pasley and Iris R. Weiss, Horizon Research Inc., February 2006) ...

Are Parents and Students Ready for More Math and Science? - Many business, education and government leaders have recently been advocating for major education reform, particularly as it pertains to improving mathematics and science achievement in the nation's schools. This report examines results from a recent survey of the attitudes of parents and students in public schools, with accompanying charts examining results in the following areas: (1) just how much harder should high school be, (2) are the problems social or academic, (3) many parents are complacent about science and math education, (4) many students are lukewarm to math and science, (5) are high school girls less interested and (6) minority students see math and science as essential. (Jean Johnson, Ana Maria Arumi, Amber Ott and Michael Hamill, Public Agenda, January 2006)...

Science and Engineering Indicators: 2006 - This report provides a wealth of information about U.S. science, engineering and technology for use by policymakers and the public. Chapters examine: (1) elementary and secondary education; (2) higher education in science and engineering; (3) the science and engineering labor force; (4) research and development: funds and technology linkages; (5) academic research and development; (6) industry, technology and the global marketplace; (7) science and technology: public attitudes and understanding; and (8) state indicators. Also available online are the appendix tables, found in Volume II. (National Science Foundation, January 2006)...

Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future - This report provides the top 10 actions – in priority order – that federal policymakers could take to enhance science and technology enterprises to ensure that the United States successfully competes, prospers and is secure in the global community of the 21st Century. Two recommendations focus on actions in K–12 education (10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds) and higher education (Best and Brightest). Also provided are a total of 20 implementation steps for reaching the goals set forth in the recommendations. Although primarily aimed at federal policymakers, the authors argue that related actions by policymakers at the state and local levels are equally important for U.S. prosperity. An executive summary also is available. (Free registration required to download the full report in pdf format..) (The National Academies Press, 2005)...

Qualifications of Public Secondary School Biology Teachers, 1999-2000 - This Issue Brief reports the combination of certifications and majors and minors to which secondary-level biology students are exposed and how these qualifications vary across schools with differing levels of student poverty. About 60% of secondary students were taught by teachers with a postsecondary major or minor in biology, leaving about 40% who were taught by teachers considered out of field in terms of their postsecondary education. (National Center for Education Statistics, June 2005)...

Handbook for Enhancing Strategic Leadership in the Math and Science Partnerships - The Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program’s purpose is to achieve deep, meaningful and sustained changes in mathematics and science education in participating school districts, institutions of higher education and other core partners. This report includes sections on (1) designing and implementing MSP interventions, (2) garnering support for key stakeholders, (3) aligning policy, (4) scaling up interventions and (5) pulling it all together. (Iris R. Weiss, Daniel J. Heck, Barbara A. Miller and Katherine Cress, Horizon Research, Inc., June 2004)...

Looking Inside the Classroom: A Study of K-12 Mathematics and Science Education in the United States - This study analyzes mathematics and science education in the United States, rating lesson design, lesson implementation, mathematics/science content addressed and classroom culture. The authors estimate that 15% of mathematics and science lessons are high in quality, 27% are medium and 59% are low in quality. Effective lessons are those that: (1) engage students with the mathematics/science content; (2) create an environment conducive to learning; (3) ensure access for all students; (4) use questioning to monitor and promote understanding; and (5) help students make sense out of the mathematics/science content. Highlights of this report also are available online. (Iris R. Weiss, Joan D. Pasley, P. Sean Smith, Eric R. Banilower and Daniel J. Heck, Horizon Research, May 2003)...

Higher Education: Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Programs, and Related Trends - For many years, the federal government has spent billions of dollars on education programs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This report presents information on (1) the number of federal programs funded in fiscal year 2004 that were designed to increase the number of students and graduates pursuing STEM degrees and occupations or improve educational programs in STEM fields, and what agencies report about their effectiveness; (2) how the numbers, percentages and characteristics of students, graduates and employees in STEM fields have changed over the years; and (3) factors cited by educators and others as affecting students’ decisions about pursing STEM degrees and occupations, and suggestions that have been made to encourage more participation. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, October 2005)...

Highlights from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2003 - The 2003 TIMSS study provides information on the performance in math and science by 4th and/or 8th graders in 46 countries. In some nations, changes in student achievement in these subjects can be tracked from 1995 to 2003. Findings: In 2003, U.S. 4th and 8th graders exceeded the international average, but their performance appeared less stellar when compared to just their peers in OECD-member countries. American 8th graders made substantial gains in average math performance between 1995 and 2003, while U.S. 4th graders’ scores remained level over this same period. The report also is broken out by chapter. (Patrick Gonzales, Juan Carlos Guzmán, Lisette Partelow, Erin Pahlke, Leslie Jocelyn, David Kastberg and Trevor Williams, National Center for Education Statistics, December 2004)...

Meeting the Challenge of Science Literacy: Project 2061 Efforts to Improve Science Literacy - This essay provides highlights from Project 2061’s study of high school textbooks, arguing for the importance of aligning textbooks with Project 2061’s Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the National Research Council’s National Science Education Standards and supporting instructional strategies that research has shown to be most effective. A summary of the Project 2061 study is available. (Mary Koppal and Ann Caldwell, The American Society for Cell Biology, Spring 2004)...

Science and Engineering Indicators 2004: Volume 1 - This report provides a wealth of information about U.S. science, engineering and technology for use by policymakers and the public. Information is presented on: (1) science, mathematics and engineering education at all levels; (2) the scientific and engineering workforce; (3) U.S. and international research and development performance in high technology; and (4) public attitudes and understanding of science and engineering. The report also contains an overview presenting key themes and a chapter on state-level science and engineering indicators. Also available online are the appendix tables, found in Volume 2. (The National Science Foundation, 2004)...

Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools - Minority students and children in inner-city and rural areas face serious limitations in gaining access to advanced high school courses in math and science, according to this study completed by a committee of the National Research Council. The study examined the College Board's Advanced Placement math and science courses, and courses offered under the International Baccalaureate program. (National Academy Press, 2002)...


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