NSF PR 02-08 - January 24, 2002
Math and Science Partnership Connects Schools and
Higher Education to Boost Learning
The National Science Board (NSB) executive committee
approved Thursday a program developed by the National
Science Foundation (NSF) to strengthen science and
mathematics education in the nation's schools by initiating
new linkages among institutions of higher education,
preK-12 schools and other partners.
Known as the Math and Science Partnership (MSP), the
program is supported by a $160 million appropriation
in the fiscal 2002 budget. A planned $1 billion, five-year
investment by NSF in MSP is part of President Bush's
wider initiatives in mathematics and science education.
The partnerships will unite the efforts of local school
districts with mathematics, science and engineering
faculties, as well as education faculty, to address
issues of improving learning and teaching in science
and mathematics for pre kindergarten through 12th
"We recognize that there are excellent educators out
there to work with our young people," said NSF Director
Rita Colwell. "The problems are complex, and so, too,
are the solutions which require the kind of vision
exemplified in these partnerships."
The new MSP will focus on improving student achievement
by ensuring that all students are engaged in a challenging
curriculum. The program also seeks to increase the
number, quality and diversity of teachers of science
and mathematics, and create a network of researchers
and teachers to share and study educational reform.
The MSP program is part of President Bush's No Child
Left Behind initiative to strengthen and reform preK-12
education. NSF has received strong support for the
program from Congress, especially the Committee on
Science in the House of Representatives.
According to No Child Left Behind, "among the underlying
causes for the poor performance of U.S. students in
the areas of math and science, three problems must
be addressed-too many teachers teaching out-of-field;
too few students taking advanced coursework; and too
few schools offering a challenging curriculum and
MSP is a new phase in education reform, building on
NSF's experience during the past ten years in developing
programs to help schools improve education system-wide
in science and mathematics. The MSP draws on the work
of other NSF sponsored programs in mathematics and
"By linking community colleges and universities with
school systems, MSP will provide new opportunities
to boost learning," said Judith Ramaley, Assistant
Director for Education and Human Resources. "Those
links could bring new technology training to teachers
or bring high school students into university laboratories
to work with faculty, for instance."
NSF also is in contact with the U.S. Department of
Education to determine how efforts in mathematics
and science education can benefit from the collective
experiences of the two agencies. The fiscal 2002 appropriation
will support partnerships that vary in the range and
size of their activities.
For more information on the Math and Science Partnership,
For more information, see http://www.ehr.nsf.gov.