US STEM Policy

Goals

To summarize the STEM education policy in an attempt to evaluate the national STEM policy of the US.

Early Findings

  • The vision for the next 5 years is a future where "all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education and the United States will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation, and employment."
  • This vision can be achieved by pursuing three goals, i.e. building a strong foundation for STEM literacy, increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, and preparing the STEM workforce for the future by empowering them such that they can make scientific discoveries and create technologies for the future.
  • There are 4 pathways on which the Federal strategy for STEM education is built. These include developing and enriching strategic partnerships, engaging students where disciplines converge, building computational literacy, and operating with transparency and accountability.
  • The following departments support STEM: Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD) , Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education (OCTAE) , Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) , Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) , Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) , Office of Educational Technology (OET) , and Institute of Educational Sciences (IES).
  • The Federal effort for STEM education has 2 components; the first is based on programs used for general educational purposes, whereas the second is specifically focused on STEM education with goals of improving STEM education in the US.
  • As per the structure of the administration, the Federal STEM policy is governed by the President through the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), and the Committee on STEM education (CoSTEM).
  • There are several areas of the policy for STEM where there are concerns that need to be addressed, e.g. participation of traditionally underrepresented groups, academic achievement gaps, differences in occupational outcomes, etc.
  • There have been a number of recent legislative efforts for STEM education in the US, e.g. every student succeeds act, Carl D. Perkins career and technical education act, American innovation and competitiveness act, etc.
  • A few policy recommendations can be made to the US STEM education policy based on findings, including ensuring state graduation requirements emphasize on science and math courses, paying teachers more, establishing a loan forgiveness program for STEM teachers, etc.

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