NSF PR 00-63 - September 18, 2000
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NSF Awards $89 Million to 13 U.S. Cities to Improve
Urban Math & Science Teaching
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recommended
13 U.S. cities to receive awards totaling $89 million
over five years to improve K-12 science, mathematics
and technology education in urban school districts.
These cooperative agreements between NSF and the school
districts are funded through NSF's Division of Educational
System Reform. Award amounts range from $5 million
to $11.8 million each over a period of five years
to advance district-wide reform. Chicago, Miami and
Philadelphia each will receive $11.8 million; Memphis
will receive $8.7 million, and $5 million will go
to Birmingham, Ala.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Fresno, Calif.;
Minneapolis, Minn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Newport News,
Va; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Omaha, Neb.; and Pittsburgh,
Penn. The awards begin in the current academic year.
"These awards will enable the sites to expand existing
improvement efforts and initiate new activities to
ensure that all students have access to high quality
programs in science, mathematics, and the supportive
environment needed for success," says Dr. Judith Sunley,
interim assistant director for NSF's Directorate for
Education and Human Resources.
Costello Brown, interim director for NSF's Division
of Educational System Reform, says that these new
awards, some to school districts that have never had
NSF funding before, offer new opportunities for reaching
a wider range of students.
"Math and science education has traditionally been
aimed at a small pool of the best and the brightest,"
Brown says. "At a time when the U.S. is having to
import workers to meet the nation's requirement for
a highly skilled technical workforce, we can no longer
afford to overlook the resources we have here. In
these awards, we see a much stronger focus than ever
before on reaching all children with vigorous math,
science, and technology education."
The USP targets urban districts with a student population
of at least 20,000. Districts must demonstrate that
reform is significantly underway in the district and
that it will have an impact on the full breadth of
K-12 science and mathematics education. Districts
must provide what NSF describes as "compelling plans"
to scale up efforts to substantially increase student
achievement in the fields of science, mathematics
and technology. The plans must also show a high quality
curriculum for science and mathematics that is available
to a majority of students as well as improved education
for teachers, both inservice and preservice. They
must address the number, quality, and diversity of
the teaching workforce. Finally, they must include
efforts to increase the number of skilled workers
entering the technological workforce by ensuring the
convergence of resources and bolstering of partnerships
to support a coherent program for science and mathematics
for all students.