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What is the Department doing to improve math and science achievement?

In a recent study, U.S. 15-year-olds ranked 24th out of 29 nations in math literacy and problem solving, performing below the international average. Results of another study proved just as disconcerting: only 7 percent of fourth- and eighth-graders achieved an advanced level in math and science, compared to 41 percent of students from Singapore. In response to this crisis, the U.S. Department of Education has undertaken several new initiatives to help America's students develop the solid math and science skills needed in today's global economy.

* Created in 2006 and modeled after the influential National Reading Panel, the National Mathematics Advisory Panel will make recommendations based on the best scientific evidence on the improvement of mathematics education, with a particular emphasis on algebra readiness and success. Following a yearlong series of public meetings across the country, the panel will submit a final report early next year. President Bush is requesting $250 million in his 2008 budget to help states implement these recommendations.

* Also part of the president's 2008 budget request, a proposed $25 million for the creation of the Adjunct Teacher Corps would encourage well-qualified math and science professionals to become adjunct secondary school teachers. Funds would be used to make competitive grants to partnerships of school districts and states (or of school districts and appropriate public or private institutions) to create opportunities for professionals with subject-matter expertise to teach secondary school courses in math or science, and provide students real-world applications for math and science concepts being taught in the classroom.

* Since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, schools have been required to annually assess and report student progress in math and reading in an effort to identify problem areas and inform instruction. By the end of the 2007-08 school year, students will also have to be tested in science.
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Title Annotation:Q&A; Department of Education
Publication:The Achiever
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2007
Previous Article:Calendar.
Next Article:News show focuses on teacher quality.

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