NSTA Legislative Update
August 29, 2011

Support House Resolution 378—Support Science Education

On July 28, 2011 Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced House Resolution 378. H. Res. 378 is a bipartisan resolution that calls for the House of Representatives to give strong consideration to the role of science education in the educational accountability system as it works to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind).

Background: While science is tested, only English Language arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments are counted in the current accountability system under NCLB. As a result science has been greatly reduced in schools nationwide. A Center for Education Policy report (Instructional Time in Elementary Schools: A Closer Look at Changes for Specific Subjects, February 2008 )found that a majority of the nation's school districts increased time for English Language arts (ELA) or math and reduced time by at least 75 minutes per week in science.

Science education is critical to our nation’s future.  In July 2011, a U.S. Department of Commerce report found that:

The STEM workforce has an outsized impact on a nation’s competitiveness, economic growth, and overall standard of living … STEM jobs are the jobs of the future. They are essential for developing our technological innovation and global competitiveness … Regardless of educational attainment, entering a STEM profession is associated with higher earnings and reduced joblessness. For college graduates, there is a payoff in choosing to pursue a STEM degree, and for America’s workers, an even greater payoff in choosing a STEM career. (STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future, U.S. Department of Commerce, July 2011)

What You Can Do: For years many in the STEM community have advocated including student achievement in science alongside math and ELA as a required element of the revised accountability system under ESEA

It is important to get a large number of members of Congress (in the House) to cosponsor House Resolution 378. The number of Representatives listed as co sponsors will determine the level of support for this issue.

Ask your representative in the House to support House Res 378: By clicking on this website you will enter the STEM Education Coalitions website, where you will be able to send a personalized letter to your member of the House of Representatives urging them to co-sponsor H.Res. 378. Once you enter this new website, you will be able to enter your contact information, see a sample letter, and edit it as you like.  All information sent over this website is confidential.      

Also forward this link to all of your networks and distribute as widely as possible. 

Questions? Contact Jodi Peterson at NSTA, jpeterson@nsta.org.

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