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"Every Student Succeeds Act" Features Key STEM Priorities

January 19, 2016

This landmark legislation contains many priorities that the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) has advocated. Among them:

Title I - Standards & Assessments

Section 1005 requires states to maintain math and science standards aligned with college entrance requirements and to continue to administer science assessments not less than once in grades 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12 and math assessments in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school.

Sec. 1201 allows states to use funds to integrate engineering design skills and practices into their state assessments, which encourages both Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) states and non-NGSS states to add engineering to tests.

Title II - High Quality Teachers & Leaders

Sec. 2101-2103 provides formula grants to states for teacher and leader professional development. STEM activities, including, for the first time, engineering and computer science (STEM+CS), are one of many allowable uses of funds. States can establish, expand, or improve alternative certification of STEM teachers and offer them differential pay.

Sec. 2245 allows the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct an annual competitive grant program for states to develop a STEM Master Teacher Corps or to provide professional development for STEM teachers, via non-profit STEM entities, including science centers.

Title IV - 21st Century Schools

Sec. 4104 provides funds for state and district enrichment activities for students. If a district receives more than $30,000 in federal funds, at least 20% must be for "well-rounded" educational activities, including STEM and computer science, among other areas. Fundable STEM activities include:

--developing high-quality courses;

--increasing access for underserved and at risk students;

--supporting student participation in nonprofit competitions;

--providing hands-on learning opportunities;

--integrating other subjects, including arts, into STEM subjects;

--creating or enhancing STEM specialty schools;

--integrating classroom, afterschool and informal STEM instruction; and,

--expanding environmental education courses.

A lot of flexibility is being transferred from federal to state and local education agencies. The NCTL will work to make STEM+CS education an important priority in state spending of federal education dollars.

Related Links

The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500   information@mos.org