My Fellow Stakeholders in Science Education:
It is with great pleasure that I am writing to you as the Honorary Chair of the new Center for Science Education Campaign.
This initiative of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) seeks to make excellence in science teaching and learning a reality for each and every student in the nation. Despite all efforts to raise academic achievement, there is still much to be done. The rest of the world watched the amazing scientific progress of the United States through much of its history, recognizing the link between our progress and our economic prosperity. Other nations are now positioning themselves as our competitors for world leadership. The future of the United States is at stake and NSTA’s new Center is poised to provide the leadership and vision to significantly ratchet up the number of students succeeding in K–12 science classes and considering science-related careers.
There are several reasons for my enthusiasm about the Center.
- First, I can think of no higher calling than pursuit of a public service career, and who better to exemplify this ideal than our teaching force? The Center will provide America’s dedicated teachers with well-deserved support and opportunities for growth that will show our gratitude for their hard work in challenging circumstances.
- Second, given my own career trajectory, I recognize science as an essential building block of a complete education. I congratulate NSTA for having the courage and conviction to be proactive in helping American children become “world-class” science learners.
- Third, as Chair of the nonpartisan National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, I am pleased that the framework of real-world solutions to improve teaching and learning described in our 2000 report Before It’s Too Late will now be put into practice by the Center.
Calling for significant financial support from federal, state, and local government along with expertise and support from the business and education communities, Before It’s Too Late described the infrastructure and activities needed to produce and support first-rate teachers of science and mathematics. Yet despite some legislative efforts and innovative pockets of activity, minimal progress has been made in these seven years to implement the Commission’s ideas.
We can’t afford to wait another moment. The time is now. Please join me in bringing these ideas to fruition. I urge all of you, whether you approach this critical situation from the public or private sector, to get involved. Help us by investing your time, talents and treasure in NSTA’s Center for Science Education Campaign.
Only through a collaborative effort of all stakeholders, can we create a true revolution in science education, one that will impact the future of the young men and women of our country and bring our nation back to the forefront of global competitiveness.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this very worthwhile project.
U.S. Senator (ret.)