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State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

"The purpose of the Science and Mathematics Indicators series, which began in 1991, is to improve the quality and reliability of information concerning the progress of K-12 science and mathematics education in U.S. public schools. The 2005 report focuses on two key areas for State-level indicators: course enrollments in science and mathematics in the middle grades and high school, and teacher supply and quality in the critical teaching fields of science and mathematics. Data are analyzed across the states and trends are reported by state from 1996 to 2004. The state-by-state and national indicators in the report have multiple uses, including analyzing effects of policies, planning program improvements, identifying indicators for more detailed analysis at the district or school level, and conducting research on education change across states.

The study found that during the 2003-04 school year, 48% of all high school students were taking a higher level mathematics course (above algebra 1), which represented an increase of 10 points from 1995-96. In the same year, 31% of all high school students were taking a higher level science course (chemistry, physics or an advanced course in any field). The percentages of students taking higher level courses in mathematics and science varied by state from 23% to 60%. The report also showed that the demand for qualified teachers continues to rise. From 1996 to 2004, the number of high school and middle grades teachers of science and math increased by 20%. At the same time, the percentage of teachers certified in their assigned field has remained level. In 2004, 89% of high school mathematics teachers and 61% of middle grades mathematics teachers were state-certified. An average of 85% of high school, and 63% of middle grade science teachers was certified. Data for the State Science and Mathematics Education Indicators were provided by the state departments of education and the U.S. Department of Education. Funding support for the 2005 report was received by CCSSO from Triangle Coalition members, the National Science Foundation and Texas Instruments Incorporated."

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