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The Year of Math and Science

In last weeks State of the Union Address, President Bush highlighted K-12 science and math education as part of the Administration’s new American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI). As one part of the larger initiative that seeks to encourage research and development, innovation, and global competitiveness, the education arm of the ACI proposes new Federal support to improve the quality of math, science, and technological education in K-12 schools. New programs include:

  • National Math Panel ($10million), which would evaluate the effectiveness of approaches to teaching math.
  • Math Now for Elementary School Students ($125 million) and Math Now for Middle School Students ($125 million): New programs at the elementary and middle school levels will be similar to the Reading First initiative. Will improve math instruction to prepare more students for algebra; middle level programs will help to diagnose student deficiencies in math.
  • Evaluation of ongoing federal math and science education programs ($5 million) to determine ineffective programs
  • Expansion of the AP and IB programs ($122 million). The goal is to triple the number of students (700,000 by 2012) who take these courses and to train 70,000 more teachers in these areas. Money provided by the federal government would be matched by the states to develop this initiative.
  • Adjunct Teacher Corps ($25 million): Grants to districts and states to encourage up to 30,000 math and science professionals to become part time high school teachers by 2015.

To learn more about how the American Competitiveness Initiative will affect education, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/competitiveness/index.html

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