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NSF Press Release


Embargoed until 5 p.m. EDT

NSF PR 02-81 - September 30, 2002

Media contact:

 Bill Noxon

 (703) 292-8070

Program contact:

 Deborah Crawford

 (703) 292-8602

Math and Science Partnership Awards Announced
K-12, higher education institutions unite in effort to boost learning

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced 24 awards under the new Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program - an anticipated investment of $240 million over five years in projects to improve the achievement of K-12 students in science and mathematics. The Department of Education (ED) is an NSF partner in this effort, co-funding two projects involving state education agencies.

A key facet of President Bush's No Child Left Behind education plan and the first investment in his five-year $1 billion math and science partnership initiative, these new partnership activities are designed to enhance the performance of U.S. students in mathematics and science. Partnership projects address key contributing factors such as: too many teachers who are not fully trained to teach math and science subjects; too few students who take advanced coursework; and too few schools that offer challenging curricula and textbooks.

The new partnership program will unite teachers and administrators in K-12 schools, mathematics, science and engineering faculty in colleges and universities, and other stakeholders in K-12 education to improve student outcomes. The new projects will seek to enhance the quantity, quality and diversity of the math and science teacher workforce at a time when many teachers are retiring or otherwise leaving the profession. Designed to raise mathematics and science achievement of all students, MSP projects are also expected to reduce the well-documented achievement gaps among segments of student populations.

"These partnerships will become part of a broad national network of interconnected sites that will share successful instructional strategies, entice and train competent science and math teachers and improve learning for millions of students," said NSF Director Rita Colwell.

"One of the key outcomes of these grants will be the improved content knowledge of teachers of mathematics and science in districts across America," said U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. "This will undoubtedly lead to improved student achievement."

The seven comprehensive awards announced today total about $147 million over five years and will affect about 1.8 million students in 11 states. Comprehensive MSP projects are designed to continuously improve student achievement in math and science from the earliest grades through grade 12.

Seventeen targeted partnership grants are designed to improve achievement in specific disciplines or grade ranges. They total about $90 million over five years and will affect about 200 school districts and some 600,000 pre-K through grade 12 students in 11 states.

Also, 12 smaller awards for capacity building projects will focus on research, evaluation and technical assistance for the MSP Learning Network. Through this vehicle, researchers and practitioners in MSP and other related projects will unite in a national effort to further develop understanding of how students best learn mathematics and science. It will also promote broad dissemination and emulation of successful strategies in educational practice.

"These partnerships will increase our nation's ability to serve all of our students well and will support the quality of our science and engineering enterprise," said Judith Ramaley, NSF's Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources.


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National Science Foundation
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