Identifying and Measuring STEM Schools and Programs

Jeanne Rose Century (PI) & Melanie LaForce (Co-PI), University of Chicago

The National Research Council in 2013 released the report Monitoring Progress toward Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Nation Advancing?, which outlined 14 Indicators as well as the needed research and development to create a system to monitor the quality of STEM education in the nation. This project is funded in response to a Dear Colleague Letter request for research in the Promoting Innovation in Measurement and Evaluation program focused on developing research and tools to advance the nation’s capability to measure these indicators. The researchers in this project will address Indicator 1: Number of, and enrollment in, different types of STEM schools and programs in each district. STEM-focused schools are a rising phenomenon in education, and there are multiple variations in which such schools manifest. In addition, there are multiple types of STEM-focused programs whose distribution and opportunity for participation present serious equity issues for underrepresented minorities.

Research activities will be carried out in three phases. In phase one, the research team will review the literature to identify the ways in which STEM schools and programs are characterized and the tools and resources that have been developed by states and districts. The project will convene a set of working sessions with other researchers and important stakeholders to establish a set of operational definitions and a framework to inform the development of a set of indicators of STEM schools and programs. Finally, the project will convene a larger workshop to validate the framework and identify the next steps that will be needed for the development of measures.

See NSF award information.

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