Prioritizing Science Education is Focus of Science Magazine’s Special Issue

Grantees in this story

The current issue of Science magazine (23 April 2010) focuses on science education.  The peer-reviewed journal looks at the connection between learning science in school and the acquisition of language and communication skills, emphasizing the benefits of teaching science and literacy in the same classrooms whenever possible. In the United States, writes Bruce Alberts, the journal’s editor-in-chief, this would be viewed as a radical proposal. Unfortunately, the great majority of Americans are accustomed to science classrooms where students memorize facts about the natural world and, if they are lucky, perform an experiment or two; in language arts classes, students generally read fictional literature and write about it in fossilized formats such as "compare and contrast."

Alberts was a member of the Carnegie Corporation of New York - Institute for Advanced Study Commission on Mathematics and Science Education. The Commission’s report, The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy, sounded an urgent call for a national mobilization to "transform mathematics and science education and deliver it equitably and with excellence to all students." It also recommended concrete actions by a range of organizations — from labor and business to federal and state government, schools and colleges, and donors. More than 65 groups affirmed their support.  

As part of this multi-sector effort, Carnegie Corporation is extending the work of the Opportunity Equation and applying a strategic focus on STEM learning to all its education grantmaking.

The foundation strives to enable all students, including historically underserved populations and immigrants, to achieve academic success and perform with high levels of creative, scientific, and technological knowledge and skill. Current priorities include upgrading the standards and assessments that guide student learning, improving teaching and ensuring that effective teachers are well deployed in our nation's schools, and promoting innovative new school and system designs.