How new COMPETES law may help education and hurt research

January 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm 2 comments

I’ve been hearing a lot about the new COMPETES law and how much it helps education programs.  This article raises a serious concern.  The new education programs are mandates on NSF, and with the new Congress, increases in NSF’s budget are unlikely.  A possible (likely?) outcome, then, is that research programs would be cut back to fund the new mandates.

The reauthorization also tells NSF to begin several new education initiatives. One asks NSF to replicate the successful UTEACH program at the University of Texas, Austin, that trains STEM majors to become science and math teachers in public schools. Others would encourage high school students to help university scientists collect data for NSF-funded projects, allow for a competitive grants program to support research on improving graduate education, and create industry internships for undergraduates in STEM fields. All of them would require new funding, however—some $10 million a year for the UTEACH replication, for example—meaning that NSF officials are extremely unlikely to move ahead unless Congress appropriates the money for that particular activity.

via How New COMPETES Science Law Broadens NSF Education Programs – ScienceInsider.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John "Z-Bo" Zabroski  |  January 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    The problem with these Let’s Create Teachers programs in the past has been that industry would hire these teachers to be HR training & development officers, and so on…

    Not familiar with the UT-Austin one… how longitudinal is it and how often is industry plucking up talent from that program… or does the program have special catches like the NYC Einstein Fellow where you’re guaranteed an inner-city job for two years and they’ll pay off your loans, but only if you finish and you don’t get any say in where you are placed…

    Reply
    • 2. Cynthia Lee  |  January 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      Yes, training more STEM teachers doesn’t do much good unless the career can retain them. IMHO, the most important thing we could do here is start allowing different pay for STEM teachers at the high school level, versus teachers in other subjects.

      Reply

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