. "5 What Actions Should America Take in K–12 Science and Mathematics Education to Remain Prosperous in the 21st Century?." Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.
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Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future
About 10% of the nation’s 3 million K–12 teachers provide instruction in science and mathematics in middle and high schools.18 The No Child Left Behind Act requires all of them to participate regularly in professional development, and in most states professional development already is required to maintain teaching credentials. Funding for continuing education now comes from the No Child Left Behind appropriation and from the states.
As the number of programs has ballooned, many teachers report that they are “buried in opportunities” for continuing education. They also complain that it is difficult to know which programs are worthwhile and which are irrelevant and disconnected. The object of this implementation action is to identify outstanding programs that improve content knowledge and pedagogical skills, especially for those who enter the profession from other careers. Over 5 years, these programs could reach all teachers of middle and high school mathematics and science. Furthermore, as these teachers become more qualified, they can be provided increased financial rewards without confronting the historical culture that largely dismisses the concept of pay-for-performance.
Action A-2 Part 1: Summer Institutes
In the first implementation action, the committee recommends a summer education program for 50,000 classroom teachers each year. Matching grants would be provided on a one-for-one basis to state and regional summer institutes to develop and provide 1- to 2-week sessions. The expected federal investment per participant is about $1,200 per week, excluding participant stipends, which would be covered by local school districts.
Summer institutes for secondary school teachers of science and mathematics have existed in various forms at least since the 1950s, often with corporate sponsors.19 The National Science Foundation (NSF) started funding teacher institutes in 1953, when shortages of adequately trained person-
Research Association, Montreal, Quebec; National Research Council. Educating Teachers ofScience, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for a New Millennium. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001; National Research Council. Improving Teacher Preparation and Credentialing Consistent with the National Science Education Standards: Report of aSymposium. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.
In 1999-2000, the latest year for which we have figures, of the total number of public K–12 teachers, 191,000 taught science (including biology, physics, and chemistry) and 160,000 taught mathematics.
Summer institutes at Union College in Schenectady and at the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland were supported by the General Electric Company, institutes at the University of Minnesota were supported by the Ford Foundation, and institutes at the University of Tennessee were supported by the Martin Marietta Corporation.