The Department of Education in fiscal 2018 not only fulfilled but surpassed a directive from President Trump to provide $200 million for science, technology, engineering and math, including computer science, education. The Department awarded $279 million in STEM discretionary grant funds in the fiscal year.
Efforts to support STEM education, through a STEM discretionary grant priority, included funding for:
- GEAR UP Competition: New Partnership Awards, $108 million
- Education Innovation and Research, $66.8 million
- Supporting Effective Educator Development, $28.2 million
- Innovative Approaches to Literacy, $26.7 million
- GEAR UP Competition: New State Awards, $20.4 million
- Teacher Quality Partnership, $16.4 million
- Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs: Professional Development Grants Program, $6.2 million
- Pathways to Apprenticeship for High School Career and Technical Education Students, $3.6 million
- Center on Early STEM Learning for Young Children with Disabilities, $1.5 million
- Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs, $1.2 million
While the Department cites the investments as a significant step toward advancing STEM education in the U.S., there also was acknowledgement of more work to be done.
The DoE released a data story on STEM showing 80% of eighth-grade students attend a school that offers Algebra I, but only 24% actually are enrolled in the course. That gap in the STEM pipeline can have long-term effects on students' education, since Algebra I is considered the gatekeeper course to advanced math and science courses.
The data presented showed that 59% of schools offer Algebra I in eighth grade, 84% of schools offer the course in grades 9-10 and 60% in grades 11-12. Moreover, while overall 80% of eighth-grade students had access to Algebra I, access varied by the type of school attended. 88% of eighth-grade students in magnet schools had access to an Algebra I course, only 43% of eighth-grade students in vocational schools had access to Algebra I.
For information about the K-12 science curriculum market, including the outlook for integration of the STEM subjects, check out Simba Information’s K-12 Science Market and STEM Outlook Report 2018. To learn more or to purchase the report, call 888-297-4622 or e-mail [email protected].