Indicator 10

Inclusion of science in major federal K–12 education initiatives

Indicator 10 examines the proportion of major federal K-12 education initiatives that include science.

Related DCL Awards: (0)


Priority: Low

Indicator 10 was not identified as a priority in the Monitoring Progress report and was also viewed as a low priority by the STEM Indicators advisory group. This indicator may be more relevant to address as K–12 education education initiatives resulting from the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) begin to emerge. During the 2014 meeting, the STEM Indicators advisory group supported the selection of this topic for a concept paper to spur discussion leading up to the 2016 election.

Operational Definition

This indicator concerns the inclusion of science in federal education initiatives and the level of funding relative to ELA and math. The following are proposed as major federal K-12 education initiatives: 1) ESEA reauthorization, 2) Investing in Innovation and Improvement, 2) America COMPETES, and 4) NAEP Assessments.

The authors of the Monitoring Progress report also included Race to the Top in the definition for this indicator, but exclusion is recommend now that the initiative has concluded. NCLB waivers could also be considered on the grounds that they represent the de facto federal policy, but given the labor intensity of this task, it is recommended to wait until the reauthorized ESEA is more fully implemented to collect a baseline measure for this indicator. Reporting meaningfully on this indicator also requires establishing clear definitions for how program dollars are allocated to subject areas, which would be complicated by the fact that funding is often targeted to the student population served rather than the content addressed.

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