DC Shuttle: One Report Finds Fears of STEM Overlap Exaggerated; Another Counts Schools Not Making Adequate Yearly Progress

On Thursday, the White House National Science and Technology Council released a report detailing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education spending across all federal programs. According to the report, 13 federal agencies spent about $3.4 billion on STEM programs in 2010, 80%  of which was split between the National Science Foundation ($1.2 billion), the Education Department ($1 billion), and the Department of Health and Human Services ($577 million). The report also concluded that fears of overlap between the various agencies are largely exaggerated—researchers found “no duplication among the STEM education investments,” although they added that this “does not mean that there are not opportunities for better alignment and deployment of STEM resources.”

The Center on Education Policy (CEP) released a report Thursday estimating that 48% of public schools in the U.S. failed to meet the No Child Left Behind education law’s adequate yearly progress (AYP) standards for 2011. This represents a significant increase from the estimated 39% failing schools in 2010, although it is still far short of Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s prediction of 82%. Rhode Island had the third-lowest percentage of failing schools with 17%, behind only Wisconsin and Kansas. Massachusetts was one of five states where the number of failing schools was above 75%.


From the New England Council’s Weekly Washington Report Higher Education Update, Dec. 19, 2011. NEBHE is a member of the Council and publishes this column each week.

Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit www.newenglandcouncil.com.


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