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June 22, 2011 - STEM Education Coalition letter - reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

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June 20th, 2011

The Honorable Tom Harkin                                              The Honorable Michael B. Enzi
Chair                                                                             Ranking Member
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and                    Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and
Pensions                                                                       Pensions
United States Senate                                                     United States Senate
731 Hart Senate Office Building                                       379A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1502                                           Washington, DC 20510-5004

Dear Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi: 

As members of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition, we are writing you with our recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), otherwise known as the No Child Left Behind Act. We look forward to working closely with you and the members of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) as you reauthorize this critical law.

Our Coalition is a broad alliance of education, business, professional, and science and technology organizations working aggressively to raise awareness in Congress, the Administration, and other organizations about the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 15 of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected for 2014 require preparation in STEM subjects. If our nation is to keep up with our international peers, we absolutely must step up our efforts to improve STEM education.

Our Coalition includes a wide range of stakeholders who are deeply committed to ensuring that STEM education is a top priority in the revised ESEA. We urge you and your colleagues to strongly consider the following recommendations to improve the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We support:

• The inclusion of student performance in science alongside math and reading as a core element of the accountability system;

• Robust and dedicated programs to provide effective STEM-related professional development and preparation for educators and other educational innovation activities under Title II.B;

• Strengthening STEM-focused formula-funded programs that provide resources to each state for high-need students and areas, complemented with competitive grant programs in STEM education to promote ambitious reform efforts;

• Federal efforts to empower each state to develop its own comprehensive STEM education action plan – including its own definition of STEM needs – that will include input from a wide range of business, professional, and education stakeholders;

• The integration of STEM-focused curricula, projects, and programs as high-priority allowable uses of funds under other ESEA programs that support classroom and field teaching and learning as well as out of school experiences such as afterschool and summer programs;

• A strong emphasis in K-12 learning environments on hands-on, experiential, inquirybased and learner-centered student experiences and activities, including engineering design processes and digital access for STEM students and educators to help foster 21st Century skills;

• Federal efforts to encourage and foster ongoing collaborative state efforts to adopt “common core” or other high-quality standards in math and science;

• Targeted efforts to promote STEM subject master teachers and teacher specialists; and

• Federal efforts to expand the diversity of the STEM pipeline and workforce, including targeted initiatives to promote the inclusion of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM fields.

Our Coalition values our relationship with you and your HELP Committee colleagues. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance as you advance the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Please contact James Brown, Executive Director of the Coalition at (202) 223-1887 or with questions, comments, or for further information.


National Science Teachers Association                                  American Society of Civil Engineers                              
American Chemical Society                                                   Battelle
ASME                                                                                  Business-Higher Education Forum                          
Education Development Center, Inc.                                       Campaign for Environment Literacy                                                
Hands on Science Partnership                                               Committee for the Advancement of STEM
Microsoft Corporation                                                             Specialty Schools
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics                           IEEE-USA
Alliance for Science and Technology                                       Afterschool Alliance 
Research in America (ASTRA)                                               American Association of Colleges for
American Society for Engineering Education                            Teacher Education (AACTE)
3-D Community Services and Housing                                     National Council for Advanced Manufacturing 
ACHIEVE3000                                                                       National Council of Structural Engineers Associations 
American Association of Physics Teachers                              National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics 
American Geophysical Union                                                  National Defense Industrial Association
American Institute of Biological Sciences                                 National Institute of Building Sciences 
American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and                        National Science Education Leadership Association
Petroleum Engineers, Inc                                                        National Wildlife Federation 
American Institute of Physics                                                  New York Hall of Science 
American Mathematical Association of Two-Year                       Northrop Grumman Corporation
Colleges                                                                                NV STEM Education Coalition
American Museum of Natural History                                        Pathways into Science 
American Nuclear Society                                                        Payson Unified School District #10 
American Society for Microbiology                                            Project Exploration 
American Statistical Association                                              SACNAS
Arkansas STEM Coalition                                                        School Management and Revitalize Training Group 
Association of Science Materials Centers                                 School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA)
Association of Science-Technology Centers                              Scientifically Connected Communities (SC2) at New 
Automation Federation                                                             Mexico State University
Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber                                    SkillsNET Corporation 
Beaver County STEM Education Advocacy Coalition                   South Carolina's Coalition for Mathematics & Science 
Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)                                    SparkFun Electronics
C-54 Productions, LLC                                                              SPIE, the International Society for Optics and
California Healthcare Institute                                                    Photonics
Center for Excellence in Education (CEE)                                  STEM Education Center, University of Minnesota 
Center for STEM Education at the University of North                  Students 2 Science, Inc. 
Carolina                                                                                  Technology Student Association 
Center for Teaching and Learning                                              The 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education
Council of State Science Supervisors                                        The American Institute of Aeronautics and 
Delaware Foundation for Science and Mathematics                    Astronautics (AIAA) 
Education                                                                               The AWE Project (Assessing Women and Men in
EAST Initiative                                                                         Engineering)
Engineers Without Borders – USA                                             The Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics
Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.                                        The Laboratory School for Science and Technology 
ETA/Cuisenaire                                                                        The National Society of Professional Engineers 
Funutation Tekademy LLC                                                        The Ohio Academy of Science 
Girls Inc.                                                                                 The Opitcal Society
In Reach, Inc.                                                                           Triangle Coalition
Institute of Industrial Engineers                                                  Urban STEM Strategy Group
International Technology and Engineering Educators                    Vernier Software & Technology
Association (ITEEA)                                                                  Wings of Eagles Discover Center 
International Technology and Engineering Educators
Association Council for Supervision and Leadership
Iowa Mathematics & Science Education Partnership
KDSL-Know Do Serve Learn
Knowledge Alliance
Maryland Academy of Sciences at The Maryland
Science Center
McGraw-Hill Education
Michigan Mathematics and Science Center Network
Minnesota High Tech Association
Muses3, LLC
National Association for Gifted Children
National Center for Science Education
National Commission on Teaching and America’s