Bypass Navigation


The FY 2003 Budget Request for the Educational System Reform (ESR) Subactivity is $40.25 million, a decrease of $4.94 million, or 10.9 percent, from the FY 2002 Current Plan of $45.19 million.

(Millions of Dollars)


FY 2001

FY 2002
Current Plan

FY 2003




Educational System Reform






Total, ESR






ESR programs implement large-scale reform of science, technology, and mathematics education, particularly at the preK-12 level, across the nation. Systemic reform principles and experiences are incorporated into programs across EHR. Systemic reform projects provide access to high-quality science and mathematics educational resources for many of the nation's children who are educationally disadvantaged, and expands professional development opportunities for the instructional workforce. They emphasize helping states and local school districts to ensure that all students have the opportunity to perform to high standards in math and science and to use performance data to calibrate progress and inform future directions - key elements of the President's education reform agenda. NSF has insisted on accountability from systemic reform projects, and the results demonstrate its effectiveness in generating progress.

As a result of the redirection of funds to the new Math and Science Partnership initiative in FY 2002 and FY 2003, NSF does not anticipate any new competitions for this Subactivity. Funds will support existing awards, including the possibility of supplements, where warranted. All prior commitments will be honored.

Statewide Systemic Initiatives (SSI) will be phased out by the end of FY 2002. Funding for SSI is eliminated in FY 2003, a decrease of $1.98 million. The FY 2002 funding provides final NSF support for three remaining SSI states in implementing comprehensive changes in science and mathematics education through development and alignment of new standards, partnerships and practices.

Urban Systemic Program (USP) funding decreases by $2.97 million to $31.75 million, representing declining funding required for this stage of systematics. No new USP awards will be made in FY 2003. In FY 2001, 43 urban school districts were supported, and the FY 2002 budget provides continuing support for these previously awarded urban projects. Depending on future funding levels, we will meet all of our commitments to these projects by FY 2004 or FY 2005. The program addresses two major goals: (1) to catalyze K-12 science and mathematics education system reform, with special focus on the full spectrum of teacher education and linkages with advanced technological education; and (2) to enhance educational achievement and to reduce the achievement gap for groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering.

USP programs reported improved mathematics achievement in 2,692 (81%) of the 3,328 schools using the same assessment system over the past three years, with significant gains at all levels (elementary schools, 82%; middle schools, 80%; and high schools, 79%). Likewise, 1,957 (83%) of the 2,358 schools using the same science assessment over the last three years showed increased student performance, with gains among elementary schools (85%), middle schools (82%), and high schools (78%). An example of results from an Urban Systemic Initiative is:

The Jacksonville Urban Systemic Initiative (USI) 1999-2000 Annual Report noted positive student outcome trends including the reversal of Year 1 decreasing enrollment patterns in core mathematics and science courses. Enrollments in physical science courses increased 58%, with an overall increase of 20% across the seven courses examined. Other courses experiencing a marked increase in enrollment included geometry and physics. During this period of increased enrollment, the pass rate in these more rigorous courses was sustained. There were also modest increases in enrollments in Advanced Placement courses, with completion rates of 88%. Furthermore, there were increases on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test in mathematics at all benchmark grades (5, 8, and 10), reversing a negative trend at grade 8.

Rural Systemic Initiatives (RSI) will be funded at $8.50 million. RSI promotes improvements in science and mathematics instruction in rural, economically disadvantaged regions. It develops leadership capacity and encourages community and family involvement in education, and makes innovative use of distance learning strategies. In FY 2003, RSI will continue to support 28 existing implementation awards. These projects will be phased out by FY 2004 or FY 2005, depending on budget resources available.

The RSI projects reported that 4,923 (17%) of their 29,180 teachers received initiative-sponsored professional development. The proportion of teachers who participated was highest for high school science teachers (26%). A total of 343, or 88%, of the 392 participating schools provided advanced professional development in mathematics for three years or more and 348, or 89%, of these schools provided extended professional development in science. An example of an RSI project is:

The Texas Rural Systemic Initiative works with 70,000 students in 60 rural districts in 43 counties across the state. NSF has compared student achievement for participating districts in the Texas RSI with eligible but non-participating districts during 1998 and 2000 on the mathematics and science Texas Assessment of Academic Skills and on the End-of-Course Algebra exam. The improvement in passing rates between 1998 and 2000 was greater for students in the RSI participating districts than for those in the eligible non-participating districts in virtually every category.

  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004


Policies and Important Links


Privacy | FOIA | Help | Contact NSF | Contact Web Master | SiteMap  

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated:
Text Only
National Science Foundation Summary of FY 2003 Budget Request to Congress NSF Logo