According to the National Math and Science Initiative, American students are falling behind in the essential subjects of math and science, putting our position in the global economy at risk.
- U.S. students recently finished 15th in reading, 19th in math, and 14th in science in the ranking of 31 countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
- Only 29 percent of American fourth grade students, a third of eighth grade students, and barely 18 percent of 12th grade students perform at or above the proficient level in science.
According to recommendations of a panel of 20 national leaders, published by the National Academies of Science in their 2005 blue-ribbon panel report, “Rising above the Gathering Storm.”the most effective way to enhance science and technology enterprise in the United States is to dramatically improve K-12 math and science education. To do so, the panel recommends actions to:
- Enlarge the pipeline of students with the desire and preparation to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at the undergraduate level and beyond.
- Produce more, and more effective math and science teachers;
- Strengthen the skills of existing teachers through training programs