Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Status and Issues [August 20, 2007]   [open pdf - 171KB]

"An important aspect of U.S. efforts to maintain and improve economic competitiveness is the existence of a capable scientific and technological workforce. A major concern of the 110th Congress may be regarding the future ability of the U.S. science and engineering base to generate the technological advances needed to maintain economic growth. Discussions have centered on the quality of science and mathematics education and training and on the scientific knowledge of those students entering other disciplines. Even students pursuing nonscientific and nonmathematical specialties are likely to require basic knowledge of scientific and technological applications for effective participation in the workforce. […] In the 21st century, a larger proportion of the U.S. population will be composed of certain minorities -- blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. As a group, these minorities have traditionally been underrepresented in the science and engineering disciplines compared to their proportion of the total population. A report of the National Science Foundation (NSF) reveals that blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans as a whole comprise more that 25% of the population and earn, as a whole, 16.2% of the bachelor degrees, 10.7% of the masters degrees, and 5.4% of the doctorate degrees in science and engineering. On August 9, 2007, President Bush signed into law P.L. 110-69, The America COMPETES [Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science] Act (H.R. 2272). The legislation is directed at increasing research investment, improving economic competitiveness, developing an innovation infrastructure, and strengthening and expanding science and mathematics programs at all points on the educational pipeline. The America COMPETES Act authorizes $33.6 billion for FY2008 through FY2010 for science, mathematics, engineering, and technology programs across the federal government. This report will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, 98-871
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