2.0
Efforts to Avert the Storm

INITIAL FOLLOW-UP

The Gathering Storm report concluded that America was in substantial danger of losing its economic leadership position and suffering a concomitant decline of the standard of living of its citizens because of a looming inability to compete for jobs in the global marketplace.


In the weeks following the Gathering Storm report’s release, over one hundred editorials and op-eds appeared in the nation’s newspapers, at least one in every state, addressing the issues raised in the report. Virtually all supported the National Academies’ conclusions and joined in the call for action. President George W. Bush included many of the report’s recommendations in his 2006 State of the Union Address and in the days immediately following the address traveled extensively, speaking in part about the report’s highest priority findings—K-12 education and basic research.


Implementing-legislation with 62 co-sponsors was promptly introduced in the United States Senate. A series of hearings was held in both the House and the Senate and the “America COMPETES Act” was forwarded to the House and Senate floor with strong bipartisan support—something the Gathering Storm effort has enjoyed throughout the first five years of its existence.


During 2007, the House of Representatives, in two key actions, approved the necessary authorizing legislation by votes of 389-22 and 397-20 (two votes were taken for procedural reasons). The authorizing legislation subsequently passed the Senate by a



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2.0 Efforts to Avert the Storm INITIAL FOLLOW-UP The Gathering Storm report concluded that America was in substantial danger of losing its economic leadership position and suffering a concomitant decline of the standard of living of its citizens because of a looming inability to compete for jobs in the global marketplace. In the weeks following the Gathering Storm report’s release, over one hundred editori- als and op-eds appeared in the nation’s newspapers, at least one in every state, addressing the issues raised in the report. Virtually all supported the National Academies’ conclusions and joined in the call for action. President George W. Bush included many of the report’s recommendations in his 2006 State of the Union Address and in the days immediately fol- lowing the address traveled extensively, speaking in part about the report’s highest priority findings—K-12 education and basic research. Implementing-legislation with 62 co-sponsors was promptly introduced in the United States Senate. A series of hearings was held in both the House and the Senate and the “America COMPETES Act” was forwarded to the House and Senate floor with strong bipartisan support—something the Gathering Storm effort has enjoyed throughout the first five years of its existence. During 2007, the House of Representatives, in two key actions, approved the nec- essary authorizing legislation by votes of 389-22 and 397-20 (two votes were taken for procedural reasons). The authorizing legislation subsequently passed the Senate by a 2

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effOrTS TO aVerT THe STOrM vote of 88-8. Final approval in the House of the America COMPETES authorization act was by unanimous consent following 367-57 approval of the conference report. In what perhaps might best be described as a system failure, virtually no funds to implement the Gathering Storm recommendations were included in the final version of the Fiscal 2008 Appropriations Act (although some 10,000 earmarks survived). The Gathering Storm rec- ommendations required approximately $19 billion per year for implementation, once a transition phase was completed. Starting with the fiscal 2008 supplemental budget, fund- ing for the relevant agencies of the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories has been on a trajectory that, if sustained, will result in a doubling by 2017. In contrast, funding of the STEM education-related recommendations lagged. During the first two years following the release of the Gathering Storm report the principal impact of the efforts by the Academies and a wide array of interested con- stituencies—including the Council on Competitiveness, the Business Roundtable, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and others—was to forestall actions that would otherwise have diminished America’s competitiveness. A private-sector organization, the National Math and Science Initiative, was established based on the Gathering Storm recommendations to increase participation in Advance Placement courses in high school and to provide additional teachers qualified in mathematics and science.1 SUbSEqUENT FOLLOW-UP Responding to the severe downturn of the economy in the fall of 2008, “stimulus legislation,” designated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, was introduced. A special hearing chaired by Speaker Nancy Pelosi was held, in part to address the long-term implications of any potential legislation. During the hearing wit- nesses noted that the Gathering Storm report emphasized the need for investments for the longer term—particularly in K-12 education and university research. Legislation that was eventually approved provided funding to implement many of the report’s recommenda- tions. President Obama, who had previously endorsed improvements to the nation’s K-12 education system and the addition of funds for science, including a major increase in funding at the National Institutes of Health, signed ARRA on February 17, 2009. 1 See http://www.nationalmathandscience.org/. 25

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rISING aBOVe THe GaTHerING STOrM, reVISITeD This, together with other legislation that was enacted, increased total federal support for all aspects of K-12 education by a projected $59 billion between 2009 and 2010, pro- vided scholarships for a number of future mathematics and science teachers and provided funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) patterned after the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.2 Processing of student visas was improved, reducing the delays and uncertainties that resulted from post- 9/11 changes; however, this continues to be a deterrent to many talented foreign students and professionals. OvERALL STATUS OF FOLLOW-UP Table 2-1, derived from an assessment conducted by the Congressional Research Service, summarizes recent Congressional actions, or lack thereof, in response to each of the National Academies’ recommendations and implementing actions in Rising Above the Gathering Storm. Today, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, intended as a one-time action, is nearing expiration. Without new actions the precipitous reduction in efforts that were being funded by that mechanism will be very damaging to America’s future ability to compete for jobs in the global marketplace. Similarly, authorization for the America COMPETES Act requires renewal this year as it too is scheduled to expire. Thus, the Gathering Storm effort as viewed in the middle of 2010, although still enjoy- ing strong support in the White House and in both parties in the Congress, finds itself at a tipping point. The issue at stake is whether funding to help assure that Americans can compete for quality jobs will be provided on a sustained basis. The budgetary pres- sures now faced by the nation make such investments extremely difficult; however, if not made the future consequences in terms of unemployment and related costs will likely be immense. In the judgment of the National Academies Gathering Storm committee, failure to support a strong competitiveness program will have dire consequences for the nation as a whole as well as for its individual citizens. 2 Regarding increased K-12 education spending, based on a total of $38.8 billion in federal K-12 spending in 2008, and a projected $137.1 billion for 2009 and 2010 combined. See: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/ default/files/omb/budget/fy2011/assets/hist09z9.xls. 2

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effOrTS TO aVerT THe STOrM SUMMARY The two highest priority actions for the nation, in the view of the Gathering Storm committee, are to provide teachers in every classroom qualified to teach the subject they teach and to double the federal investment in research—the latter of which would be competitively awarded and largely conducted by the nation’s research universities as opposed to government facilities. Overall, the steps recently taken to strengthen the nation’s basic research program have been substantial—albeit tenuous because of the one-time funding mechanism employed. Some steps taken to enhance K-12 education have been noteworthy as well, but in terms of actual implementation have fallen far short of the Gathering Storm commit- tee’s recommendations. Similarly, such actions as increasing the granting of H-1B visas; making the R&D tax credit permanent; changing intellectual property laws; modernizing export control policies; and assuring that qualified math and science teachers are avail- able to every student, have languished. 2

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rISING aBOVe THe GaTHerING STOrM, reVISITeD TAbLE 2-1 Implementation Status of Recommendations from Rising Above the Gathering Storm RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS CONgRESSIONAL ACTIONS Recommendation A: Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K–12 science and mathematics education. Action A-: Annually recruit 0,000 science and mathematics teachers by awarding 4-year scholarships and thereby educating 0 million minds. A-1-1. Provide merit-based, 4-year scholarships About $225 million appropriated for Robert Noyce of up to $20,000 per year to students who Teacher Scholarship program at NSF over FY 2008- commit to 5 years of teaching after obtaining 2010 ($10,000 stipends to juniors/seniors). bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields and concurrent certification as K-12 science and mathematics teachers. A-1-2. Award matching grants of $1 million Over $450 million authorized, about $3 million a year for up to 5 years for universities to appropriated for Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow establish integrated 4-year undergraduate program over FY 2008-2010. programs leading to bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields with a teacher certification. Action A-2: Strengthen the skills of 250,000 teachers through training and education programs at summer institutes, in master’s programs, and in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) training programs. A-2-1. Provide matching grants to 1- to 2- Appropriated funds not specified (no line item). week summer institutes to upgrade the skills Obama Administration argues that this corresponds to of as many as 50,000 practicing teachers each DOE Academies Creating Teacher Scientists program. summer. A-2-2. Provide grants to universities to offer, $375 million authorized, about $3 million over 5 years, 50,000 current middle and high appropriated over FY 2008-2010. school STEM teachers part-time master’s degree programs. A-2-3. Train an additional 70,000 AP or IB and $45.8 million appropriated in FY 2010 for high-need 80,000 pre-AP or pre-IB instructors to teach schools. advanced courses in STEM fields. A-2-4. Convene a national panel to develop The Department of Education established a related rigorous K-12 materials as a voluntary national panel in 2008 that met and commissioned several curriculum. papers on undergraduate STEM education Action A-3: Enlarge the pipeline of students who are prepared to enter college and graduate with a degree in science, engineering, or mathematics by increasing the number of students who pass AP and IB science and mathematics courses. 2

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effOrTS TO aVerT THe STOrM TAbLE 2-1 Continued RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS CONgRESSIONAL ACTIONS A-3-1. Increase the number of students who $45.8 million appropriated in FY2010 for reimbursing take AP or IB STEM courses to 1.5 million, and low-income students in high-need schools for AP/IB triple the number who pass to 700,000. Student test fees. incentives to include 50% exam fee rebates and $100 mini-scholarships for each passing score on AP/IB science or mathematics exams. Other actions: Specialty STEM high schools, About $89 million authorized, but funds not summer internships for middle and high school appropriated or not specified. students Recommendation b: Sustain and strengthen the nation’s traditional commitment to long-term basic research that has the potential to be transformational to maintain the flow of new ideas that fuel the economy, provide security, and enhance the quality of life. Action B-1: Increase the federal investment in Authorization and appropriation levels over FY 2008- long-term basic research by 10% each year over 2010 largely reflect this recommendation for NSF, the next 7 years, with special attention to the NIST, and DOE Office of Science. physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and information sciences and to Department of Defense (DOD) basic-research funding. Action B-2: Provide new research grants of About $75 million authorized for DOE, appropriated $500,000 each annually, payable over 5 years, funds not specified; about $550 million authorized, to 200 of the nation’s most outstanding early- $700 million appropriated to NSF in the FY2009 career researchers. Omnibus and ARRA. Action B-3: Institute a National Coordination OSTP states that ARRA provides funding for research Office for Advanced Research Instrumentation infrastructure that addresses some of these concerns. and Facilities to manage a fund of $500 million OSTP has also been directed in legislation to in incremental funds per year over the next 5 identify deficiencies in federal research facilities and years. coordinate responses. Action B-4: Allocate at least 8% of the budgets America COMPETES contains “sense of the Congress” of federal research agencies to discretionary language encouraging agencies to allocate a portion of funding of high-risk, high-payoff research. basic research funding to transformative projects. Action B-5: Create an Advanced Research $415 million appropriated in the FY2009 Omnibus Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) with initial and ARRA. annual funding of $300 million, increasing to $1 billion over 5-6 years. Action B-6: Institute a Presidential Innovation The existing “National Medal of Technology” has Award to stimulate scientific and engineering been renamed the “National Medal of Technology and advances in the national interest. Innovation.” 2

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rISING aBOVe THe GaTHerING STOrM, reVISITeD TAbLE 2-1 Continued RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS CONgRESSIONAL ACTIONS Recommendation C: Make the United States the most attractive setting in which to study and perform research so that we can develop, recruit, and retain the best and brightest students, scientists, and engineers from within the United States and throughout the world. Action C-1: Increase the number and proportion About $350 million authorized and $130 million of U.S. citizens who earn bachelor’s degrees in appropriated to NSF over FY2009-2010 for related STEM fields by providing 25,000 new 4-year programs, such as the STEM Talent Expansion Program competitive undergraduate scholarships each and the Research Experience for Undergraduates year to be distributed to states on the basis of Program. the size of their congressional delegations and awarded via national examinations. Action C-2: Increase the number of U.S. About $640 million authorized and $475 million citizens pursuing graduate study in “areas of appropriated over FY 2009-2010 (including ARRA) to national need” by funding 5,000 new graduate NSF for existing programs such as Graduate Research fellowships each year through NSF, with annual Fellowships, Integrative Graduate Education and stipend levels of $30,000, plus $20,000 for Research Traineeships, and Protecting America’s tuition and fees. Competitive Edge Graduate Fellowships. Action C-3: Provide a federal tax credit to Not acted on. encourage employers to make continuing education available (either internally or through colleges and universities) to practicing scientists and engineers. Action C-4: Continue to improve visa Not addressed by Congress, but various sources report processing for international students and that the Department of State has made significant scholars. progress in streamlining security screening. Action C-5: Provide a 1-year automatic visa By regulation, the Office of Citizenship and extension to international students who receive Immigration Services extended the optional practical doctorates or the equivalent in STEM fields at training period for F-1 nonimmigrant students with qualified U.S. institutions, and provide them STEM degrees from 12 to 29 months, and amended with automatic work permits if they are offered regulations to allow for automatic extensions of status employment by a U.S.-based employer and pass and employment authorizations for F-1 students with a security screening test. pending H-1B applications. Action C-6: Institute a new skills-based, Prior legislation exempts up to 20,000 aliens holding a preferential immigration option giving persons master’s or higher degree from the annual cap on H1-B with doctoral-level education and science visas. and engineering skills priority in obtaining U.S. citizenship. Increase the number of H1-B visas for applicants with doctorates from U.S. universities by 10,000. 0

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effOrTS TO aVerT THe STOrM TAbLE 2-1 Continued RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS CONgRESSIONAL ACTIONS Action C-7: Reform the current system of Not acted on. “deemed exports,” giving international students and researchers engaged in fundamental research in the United States with access to United States research equipment and information that is comparable to that provided to U.S. citizens. Recommendation D: Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world to innovate; invest in downstream activities such as manufacturing and marketing; and create high-paying jobs based on innovation by such actions as modernizing the patent system, realigning tax policies to encourage innovation, and ensuring affordable broadband access. Action D-: Enhance intellectual-property protection for the 2st-century global economy to ensure that systems for protecting patents and other forms of intellectual property underlie the emerging knowledge economy but allow research to enhance innovation. D-1-1. Provide the U.S. Patent and Trademark Since 2005, various appropriations acts have provided Office with sufficient resources to make the United States Patent and Trademark Office with intellectual-property protection more timely, budget authority to spend all fees collected, effectively predictable, and effective. providing additional resources to this agency. D-1-2. Reconfigure the U.S. patent system by Legislation has been introduced to implement “first-to- switching to a “first-inventor-to-file” system file,” but has not been passed and signed into law. and by instituting administrative review after a patent is granted. D-1-3. Shield research uses of patented Not acted on. inventions from infringement liability. D-1-4. Change intellectual-property laws Various bills, including one passed by the House that act as barriers to innovation in specific and one passed by the Senate, would address data industries, such as those related to data exclusivity. exclusivity (in pharmaceuticals) and those that increase the volume and unpredictability of litigation (especially in information-technology industries). Action D-2: Enact a stronger research and Several measures have been passed to bolster the development tax credit to encourage private incentive in recent years, and others are under investment. consideration. 1

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rISING aBOVe THe GaTHerING STOrM, reVISITeD TAbLE 2-1 Continued RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS CONgRESSIONAL ACTIONS Action D-3: Provide tax incentives for U.S.- Not acted on. based innovation. The Council of Economic Advisers and the Congressional Budget Office should conduct a comprehensive analysis to examine how the United States compares with other nations as a location for innovation. Action D-4: Ensure ubiquitous broadband In 2009, Congress appropriated $7.2 billion (ARRA) Internet access through spectrum management for broadband improvement programs. Additional and regulation. programs and legislation are under consideration. SOURCE: Adapted from Congressional Research Service, Selected Congressional Actions Related to Recommendations in the 2007 National Academies’ Rising Above the Gathering Storm Report, Memo to Senator Jeff Bingaman, February 26, 2010. NOTE: Appendixes E and F of the original Gathering Storm report provide cost estimates for implementing the recommendations. Making a specific assessment of Congressional actions and executive branch implementation against the recommendations would require additional information and analysis. This adaptation is not intended to be comprehensive. 2