Indicator 11

State and district staff dedicated to supporting science instruction

Indicator 11 intends to measure the human resources available at the state and district level for science as compared to math and reading for all grades.

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Priority: Low

The advisory group considered Indicator 11 to be a lower priority indicator. In addition, it was not a priority indicator for the Monitoring Progress committee.

Operational Definition

This indicator is defined as the number of full-time employees in state and district education agencies who are devoted solely to science instruction, curriculum, professional development, or assessment. Discussions with project advisors and other experts suggested that it is premature to provide an operational definition for this indicator. One limitation of this definition of “state and district staff devoted to science instruction” is that some states have math and science centers between the district and state level. By design, these intermediate units supplement professional development and resources provided by local districts and state education agencies. There is also ambiguity regarding issues such as whether staff developing science assessments or science teachers who mentor colleagues should be included in the definition. Background work on this indicator revealed that one aspect of Indicator 11 that could be measured in the relatively near term is the prevalence of science specialists teaching science at an elementary level.

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