H.R. 6104 (110th): Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Act of 2008

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of May 21, 2008 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6104

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 21, 2008

(for himself, Mr. Boswell, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Ehlers, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Holt, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Langevin, Ms. Lee, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Loebsack, Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California, Mr. Markey, Mrs. McCarthy of New York, Ms. McCollum of Minnesota, Mr. McDermott, Mr. McGovern, Mr. McNerney, Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. George Miller of California, Mr. Payne, Mr. Rothman, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Towns, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mr. Van Hollen, Ms. Watson, Mr. Wexler, Mrs. Davis of California, Mrs. Capps, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Hare, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Sarbanes, Ms. Clarke, and Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on Science and Technology, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To provide for the coordination of the Nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education initiatives.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Act of 2008.

2.

Purpose

To coordinate Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education efforts and foster cooperation between the States and Federal Government by—

(1)

improving coherence of Federal STEM education programs through the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(2)

coordinating STEM education initiatives at the Department of Education;

(3)

providing an incentive to States to align STEM education; and

(4)

improving the dissemination of STEM education research, promising practices, and exemplary programs through the National STEM Education Research Repository.

3.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

To preserve the competitiveness of the United States in the global economy our Nation must continue to combine innovation with technological advances and scientific discovery.

(2)

In 2006, the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the National Academies published Rising Above the Gathering Storm estimating that in the United States innovations generated by the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields account for more than half of the growth in gross domestic product (GDP).

(3)

According to the analysis conducted by the Association of American Universities in 2006, only 15 percent of college graduates receive a diploma in engineering or the natural sciences in the United States as compared with 38 percent in South Korea, 47 percent in France, and 67 percent in Singapore.

(4)

Every student deserves the opportunity to contribute to the long-term prosperity of the United States by acquiring skills that foster critical thinking, inventiveness, and innovation.

(5)

Highly qualified teachers are crucial to instilling students with the values and skills necessary to preserve and improve innovation in the United States and maintain our Nation’s leadership in the global knowledge economy.

(6)

Teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education will enhance the preparation they provide by incorporating promising practices and exemplary programs that foster student learning, problem solving skills, and inventiveness and by aligning STEM education preservice and inservice training among States.

(7)

Women and minorities in the United States employed in STEM fields occupations in proportion to their numbers in population or their enrollment in higher education; efforts must be made to increase diversity in the STEM workforce to improve the range of viewpoints and solutions available to address today’s challenges presented by a diverse and global marketplace.

(8)

Many of the Federal Agencies have well-established programs designed to support and improve STEM education including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

(9)

According to the Academic Competitiveness Council’s (ACC) recent report, in 2006 the United States sponsored 105 STEM education programs at a dozen different Federal Agencies. These programs devoted approximately $3,120,000,000 to STEM education activities spanning kindergarten through postgraduate education and outreach. It was shown that many of these Agencies do not share information or work collaboratively on similar programs. The ACC found that coordination among agencies could be improved to avoid, for example, grants to numerous projects that support the same sorts of interventions . . . there appears to be a lack of communication among the agencies about the work they are funding and the results that are being generated . . . agencies are often uninformed by the results of earlier projects..

(10)

Strengthening partnerships between the Federal and State governments, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and the education community will improve STEM education in our Nation’s schools.

4.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

The term STEM means science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

(2)

The term OSTP means the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.

(3)

The term NSERR means the National STEM Education Research Repository.

(4)

The term Agencies or Agency means the following Federal agencies: Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other Federal agencies with STEM education programs.

5.

Establishment within the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy a Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

(a)

Establishment of committee

The President shall establish, at the OSTP, a Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education within the National Science and Technology Council, which may be referred to as the Committee on STEM Education.

(b)

Function

The function of the Committee established under subsection (a) shall be—

(1)

to coordinate the efforts of all Federal Agencies that relate to STEM education from the prekindergarten level through the graduate level to avoid unnecessary duplication and ensure coherence among Federal STEM education programs;

(2)

to seek to improve the quality and quantity of the STEM workforce with consideration of increasing participation of individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b); and

(3)

to ensure that all efforts that relate to STEM education are coordinated through the Committee.

(c)

Structure and operation

(1)

Membership

The membership of the Committee shall include not less than 1 representative from each of the Federal Agencies and may include outside experts.

(2)

Meetings

The Committee shall convene at least once quarterly.

(3)

Staff

The Committee shall be served by—

(A)

an Assistant Director selected by the members of the Committee with the approval of the Director of the OSTP; and

(B)

a professional staff of at least two.

(d)

Responsibilities

The Committee shall have the following responsibilities:

(1)

Conducting an ongoing inventory and assessment of the effectiveness and coherence of efforts within Federal agencies that relate to STEM education.

(2)

Coordinating and facilitating the communication and cooperation among all Federal Agencies engaged in efforts that relate to STEM education.

(3)

Developing annual goals and objectives for improving STEM education throughout the Nation in collaboration with relevant Federal Agencies and organizations.

(4)

Not later than 30 days after developing the goals and objectives under paragraph (3)—

(A)

disseminating the goals and objectives to each Federal Agency engaged in efforts that relate to STEM education;

(B)

communicating the goals and objectives to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Commerce, Justice, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives, and relevant STEM education organizations; and

(C)

making the goals and objectives widely available to the public, particularly to stakeholders that represent individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b).

(5)

Annually evaluating the progress and success of each Federal Agency at achieving the goals and objectives under paragraph (3).

(6)

Consulting with the State Consortium on STEM Education when developing Federal STEM education policy and budgets.

(7)

Proposing a coordinated interagency budget for STEM Education to the Office of Management and Budget aligned with the goals established in paragraph (3).

(8)

Strengthening partnerships between the STEM education community, Federal, State, and local governments, and other countries.

(9)

Implementing the program for Semiannual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Days as set forth in section 1004 of the America COMPETES Act (Public Law 110–69).

(10)

Hosting an annual meeting on the status of STEM education, including the role of education in meeting the recommendations of the report submitted by and as part of the National Science and Technology Summit required by section 1101 of the America COMPETES Act (Public Law 110–69; 121 Stat. 574), in conjunction with—

(A)

the State Consortium on STEM Education;

(B)

the Federal Agencies;

(C)

States, including the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States;

(D)

businesses and industries;

(E)

institutions of higher education;

(F)

STEM education professions and teachers from prekindergarten through postbaccalaureate study; and

(G)

other relevant stakeholders in STEM education including stakeholders that represent individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b).

(11)

Issuing a biennial report to the Nation on the status of STEM education that—

(A)

specifies the efforts and outcomes of each Federal Agency in improving STEM education; and

(B)

contains an analysis of the quality, scale, and effectiveness of the efforts of the Federal Government relating to improving STEM education and increasing participation of individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b).

(12)

Developing, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, business and industry partners and other appropriate entities, a 5-year projection of the STEM workforce including a demographic breakdown of individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b).

(e)

Requirements

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), but notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person shall be not eligible to receive a grant from any Federal Agency for a project that relates to STEM education research unless the person demonstrates that all reports, proceedings, data sets, online modules, and other products of the project will be submitted by their authors for consideration to be included in the NSERR.

(2)

Copyright

The Committee and the NSERR shall implement the public access policy under paragraph (1) in a manner consistent with copyright law.

(f)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated $650,000 to carry out this section for fiscal year 2009 and each fiscal year thereafter.

6.

Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education within the Department of Education

(a)

Assistant secretary

Section 202 of the Department of Education Organization Act (20 U.S.C. 3412) is amended in subsection (b)(1)—

(1)

in subparagraph (E) by striking and at the end;

(2)

by redesignating subparagraph (F) as (G); and

(3)

by inserting after subparagraph (E) the following:

(F)

an Assistant Secretary for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (who may be referred to as the Assistant Secretary for STEM Education); and

.

(b)

Office

Title II of the Department of Education Organization Act is amended by adding at the end the following:

221.

Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

(a)

In general

There shall be in the Department of Education an Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (which may be referred to as the Office of STEM Education), to be administered by the Assistant Secretary for STEM Education appointed under section 202(b).

(b)

Responsibilities

The Assistant Secretary of STEM Education, acting through the Office, shall have the following responsibilities:

(1)

Coordinating and overseeing all STEM education efforts within the Department.

(2)

Preparing the annual budget for all STEM education programs within the Department.

(3)

Managing the following programs: Math and Science Partnerships, Math Now, Math Skills for Secondary Students, Minority Science and Engineering Improvement, Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow, and all other functions of the Department with a focus on STEM education, including where appropriate the National Science and Mathematics Access Retain Talent (SMART grants), the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH grants), and the Academic Competitiveness grants.

(4)

Consulting with other offices within the Department that have a STEM education focus, including those managing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education grant programs.

(5)

Representing the Department as a member of the STEM Education Committee, established under section 5 of the Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Act of 2008, and serving as the principal interagency liaison for STEM education programs at the Department unless otherwise designated by the Assistant Secretary.

(6)

Ensuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual and so as to increase, to the maximum extent possible, the participation and advancement of individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b) in the STEM disciplines.

(7)

Promoting the development and implementation of quality, scientifically valid STEM teacher preparation and to provide technical assistance to support STEM learning.

(8)

Providing support to institutions of higher education and other institutions and organizations with effective informal STEM education programs to improve teacher preparation and teacher professional development by ensuring emphasis on promising practices and exemplary programs in STEM education.

(9)

Providing support to local education agencies or to mathematics and science partnerships involving local education agencies, to implement effective STEM education instruction and exemplary programs that employ promising practices.

(10)

Consulting regularly with the State Consortium on STEM Education with regard to developing STEM education policy and providing technical support.

(11)

Conducting a biennial symposium emphasizing engaging students in STEM disciplines that are identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b) inviting stakeholders that include, but are not limited to—

(A)

expert STEM teachers;

(B)

State Consortium on STEM Education and additional States;

(C)

business and industry partners;

(D)

institutions of higher education;

(E)

institutions and organizations with an informal STEM education focus; and

(F)

Federal Agencies with STEM education programs.

(12)

Providing periodic public statements on the status of STEM education in the Nation.

(13)

Informing the Secretary, policymakers, the professional societies of STEM teaching professionals and STEM practitioners about the effectiveness of STEM-related education research and programs operated within the Department.

(14)

Sharing scientifically valid education research and promising practices and exemplary programs with the National STEM Education Research Repository.

.

(c)

Evaluation and report

The Assistant Secretary for STEM Education shall conduct an annual independent evaluation, through grant or by contract, of the STEM education programs administered by the Department, which shall include—

(1)

conducting an assessment of STEM education activities within the Department by using the annual evaluations and reports of these programs to determine these programs’ impact on—

(A)

the quantity of students seeking STEM degrees disaggregated by subject area and according to section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b);

(B)

student academic achievement with consideration of problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and other higher order thinking skills;

(C)

improving STEM teacher quality, quantity, and retention; and

(D)

improving promising teaching practices that show evidence of fostering student innovation; and

(2)

the preparation and submission of an annual report on the results of the evaluation described in paragraph (1) to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Science of the Senate, the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and House of Representatives.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated $1,500,000 to carry out this section for fiscal year 2009 and such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter.

7.

State Consortium on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

(a)

In general

From amounts made available to carry out this section, the Secretary of Education, acting through the Office of STEM Education, shall award a grant to establish one voluntary State Consortium on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (which may be referred to as the State Consortium on STEM Education).

(b)

Peer review and selection

The Secretary shall—

(1)

establish a peer-review process to assist in the review and approval of the grant proposal under this section;

(2)

appoint individuals to participate in the peer-review process who are educators and experts in identifying, evaluating, and implementing effective STEM education programs and practices, including areas of teaching and learning, educational standards and assessments, professional development, curriculum, increasing the participation of individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 10 1885a or 1885b), English language learners, and special education including recognized exemplary teachers and school administrators who have been recognized at the state or national level for exemplary work and/or contributions to the STEM education field;

(3)

approve one grant from those submitted under this section not later than 120 days after the date of the submission unless the Secretary determines that the grant proposals submitted do not meet the requirements of this section;

(4)

if only one grant proposal is submitted, not decline to approve the grant proposal before—

(A)

offering the Consortium an opportunity to revise the Consortium proposal; and

(B)

providing the Consortium with technical assistance in order to submit a successful application; and

(5)

direct the Inspector General of the Department to review the process used for screening the individuals appointed to the peer-review process so as to avoid both financial conflicts of interest and non-financial interests that would impair objectivity in peer review, as well as the objectivity of process used in reviewing and awarding the grant under this section, and report the findings to Congress.

(c)

Amount of grant

(1)

In general

Except as provided under paragraph (2), the grant awarded to the consortium under this section shall be not more than $20,000,000.

(2)

Additional funds

For each fiscal year of the grant period, the Secretary of Education shall award to the consortium awarded a grant under this section $2,000,000 for each additional State that is a member of the consortium beyond the minimum 5 States required under subsection (d).

(d)

Eligibility requirement

To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, the consortium shall include at least 5 States considering the need to provide an equitable geographic representation of the United States, according to the regional divisions used by the Bureau of the Census.

(e)

Use of grant funds

The consortium shall use the grant funds awarded under this section for the following purposes:

(1)

To establish the State Consortium on STEM Education.

(2)

To convene an Interstate Council on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (which may be referred to as the Interstate Council on STEM Education) that includes a diverse group of individuals representing a variety of perspectives on STEM education, the STEM disciplines, business, curriculum, assessments, English language learners, and special education, including—

(A)

representatives from States that shall include not less one State Governor, one Chief State School Officer, and one representative of a State educational agency or their designee;

(B)

representatives from local educational agencies (LEAs) that shall include not less than one current school administrator, and three expert STEM educators that represent early childhood, elementary, middle, and secondary school perspectives;

(C)

not less than 4 representatives from STEM education and the STEM fields at institutions of higher education that include community colleges, and public and private four-year institutions of higher education;

(D)

not less than one representative from a STEM education professional organization, such as but not limited to the National Science Teachers Association, the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, those representing engineering educators, career and technical education, and organizations that represent underrepresented communities in STEM; and

(E)

not less than one representative from each of the following categories of relevant STEM related organizations: informal STEM education, business and industry, a STEM disciplinary or professional society, private or corporate foundations, and other relevant organizations.

(3)

To support at least one full-time staff member for each State.

(4)

To share STEM education research, promising practices and exemplary programs, and programs through the NSERR.

(f)

Functions

The State Consortium on STEM Education—

(1)

shall establish small working groups comprised of members of the State Council on STEM Education and outside experts in appropriate fields consulting widely to address the functions outlined in this subsection;

(2)

shall identify points of weakness and strength among State STEM education efforts, prioritize strategies for addressing problem areas, and communicate State needs to the STEM Education Committee within the OSTP and the Assistant Secretary for STEM Education;

(3)

shall develop rigorous common content standards in STEM education for grades prekindergarten through grade 12 reflecting common elements between disciplines with consideration of—

(A)

established international standards and 21st Century Skills; and

(B)

the needs of English language learners and special education students;

(4)

shall develop and implement strategies to integrate STEM education into other subject areas, such as language arts, social studies, physical and health education, music and other performing arts, and environmental education;

(5)

shall develop innovative STEM assessment practices that include a substantial proportion of extended constructed response items, such as performance-based measures, that measure higher order thinking skills and understanding, application and transferability knowledge, problem solving, analysis, and synthesis, and include administration through a variety of modalities, such as audio-visual and interactive technology;

(6)

shall identify and utilize, to the maximum extent possible, the expertise and resources of educators, institutions of higher education, business and industry, and Federal agencies in the development and implementation of functions outlined in this subsection;

(7)

shall develop strategies to increase the participation and success of individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885a or 1885b) in STEM fields with consideration of first generation students;

(8)

shall issue periodic reports on the status of STEM education in the States;

(9)

shall make STEM education research, promising practices and exemplary programs, and effective STEM programs widely available through the NSERR;

(10)

may establish and strengthen partnerships between two-year colleges and minority serving institutions and research institutions to provide STEM students at two-year colleges and minority serving institutions (MSIs) expanded degree possibilities and opportunities to access research facilities and mentors including but not limited to—

(A)

conducting a needs assessment of how to enhance the flow of STEM students from two-year colleges and MSIs to research institutions; and

(B)

establishing articulation agreements that shall address pathways and credit transfers between the institutions;

(11)

may improve and align STEM preservice teacher training among the member States, including but not limited to developing common—

(A)

STEM preservice teacher training degree programs;

(B)

STEM teacher credentials; and

(C)

alternative pathways to STEM teacher certification;

(12)

may promote and develop curriculum tools and professional development for inservice teachers that foster innovation and inventiveness;

(13)

may evaluate the impact that STEM education professional development organizations have on classroom instruction and student learning in member States;

(14)

may provide technical support to States who are members of the Consortium to establish or strengthen existing P–16 and/or P–20 Councils and to align secondary school graduation requirements with the demands of 21st century postsecondary education endeavors and support P–16 education data systems established by States and in section 6401 of the America COMPETES Act (Public Law 110–69; 121 Stat. 668; 20 U.S.C. 9871), and serve as a resource center for the STEM Education efforts of P–16 and/or P–20 Councils;

(15)

may develop STEM Career Awareness Programs in collaboration with school guidance counselors that reflect the projected STEM workforce needs of the 21st century that may include mentoring programs and STEM professional outreach; and

(16)

may develop STEM-related workforce education and training programs to enhance the skills of workers to meet the needs of business and industry.

(g)

Outside funds

The State Consortium on STEM Education shall be permitted to accept and solicit outside funds.

(h)

Evaluation and report

The State Consortium on STEM Education shall conduct an annual independent evaluation, by grant or by contract, of the State Consortium on STEM Education’s effectiveness at accomplishing the functions outlined in subsection (e), which shall include—

(1)

an assessment of the impact of such activities on STEM teaching and learning; and

(2)

the preparation and submission of an annual report on the results of the evaluation described in paragraph (1) to the Assistant Secretary of STEM Education.

(i)

Prohibitions

(1)

In general

In implementing this section, the Secretary may not—

(A)

endorse, approve, or sanction any STEM curriculum designed for use in any school; or

(B)

engage in oversight, technical assistance, or activities that will require the adoption of a specific STEM program or instructional materials by a State, local educational agency, or school.

8.

National Stem Education Research Repository

(a)

In general

From amounts made available to carry out this section, the Secretary of Education, acting through the Office of STEM Education, shall make a grant to the National Science Digital Library for use by the Library to establish a National STEM Education Research Repository to coordinate and organize scientifically valid STEM education research, and STEM education programs that demonstrate promising practices and exemplary programs, among governmental and nongovernmental agencies.

(b)

Use of grant amounts

The recipient of the grant under subsection (a) shall use the grant to provide basic operational support to the NSERR, including content development and maintenance, office space, equipment, personnel, and other operational costs.

(c)

Responsibilities

The NSERR shall have the following responsibilities:

(1)

Integrating existing STEM education collections, teacher professional development opportunities and student programs available through the Federal Agencies and including, but not limited to, Science Education Resource Center, Research from Institutions of Higher Education, Regional Education Centers (labs, comprehensive centers, and technical assistance centers), Applied Math and Science Repository, Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), State initiatives, national experts, and others.

(2)

Developing criteria for STEM education research and promising practices and exemplary programs, in collaboration with relevant STEM education experts, for inclusion in the NSERR.

(3)

Publishing, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the criteria developed under paragraph (2).

(4)

Ensuring that STEM education research, promising practices, have been evaluated by experts, and those and exemplary programs meeting the established minimum criteria in paragraph (2) are made widely available.

(5)

Providing summaries of STEM education research and promising practices and exemplary programs that were submitted and evaluated under paragraph (4), including contact information for questions, an example of successful implementation, and other information that may be beneficial to educators.

(d)

Outside funds

The NSERR shall be permitted to accept and solicit outside funds.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated $1,500,000 to carry out this section for fiscal year 2009 and such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter.