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Topic: Clinton & TIMSS
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Fran Berry

Posts: 20
Registered: 12/3/04
Clinton & TIMSS
Posted: Mar 9, 1998 10:43 AM
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>Los Angeles Times
>Sunday, March 8, 1998
>EDUCATION: Prompted by U.S. students' poor showing in world study,
>president will meet with 20 governors, mayors, experts next week to
>seek answers.
>By ELIZABETH SHOGREN, Times Staff Writer
>WASHINGTON--Distressed over the "unacceptable" performance of
>Americans' older schoolchildren in math and science, President
>Clinton has decided to call together a select, bipartisan group of
>governors, mayors and education experts to confront the problem,
>White House officials said Saturday.
>"He wants to challenge business, political and educational leaders
>to do absolutely everything we can to start reversing the trend in
>math and science," said Bruce Reed, Clinton's senior domestic
>policy advisor.
>The meeting, which is scheduled for March 16, would serve as a
>clearinghouse for information and an opportunity to brainstorm on
>solutions. By bringing 20 influential people to the White House to
>talk about the problem, the president also hopes to force the
>country to focus on the poor performance of America's eighth- and
>12th-graders in the Third International Mathematics and Science
>The president decided to hold the session because he was so
>bothered by the recently released results of the 21-nation study,
>in which U.S. 12th-graders ranked 19th in math, outperforming only
>Cyprus and South Africa. In the category of general science
>knowledge, U.S. high school seniors ranked 16th.
> * * *
>"The president considers the test results unacceptable, and unless
>they turn around, they'll be a harbinger of future economic
>performance," senior advisor Rahm Emanuel said.
>"What was especially troubling to the president about the TIMSS
>results was the lack of an outcry over them," Reed added.
>Advisors to the president said he was so upset by the scores that
>he frequently cited them in meetings with his staff. The plan to
>bring together a wide assortment of elected officials, education
>specialists and business leaders arose as a way to counteract the
>Building momentum behind a nationwide effort to improve math and
>science education is particularly important for the president, who
>wants a better-educated population to be one of the major legacies
>of his presidency. The president believes that if the country is to
>remain economically competitive, all Americans need access to a
>first-class education.
>Clinton also hopes to use the forum to press for support of his
>education agenda, which he feels is an important blueprint for
>improving American education and helping all children perform to
>high standards.
>Although the list of participants has not been finalized, it
>already includes Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, a Democrat; Diane
>Ravitch, former deputy secretary of Education under President Bush;
>and the leaders of the two major teachers' unions. Los Angeles
>Mayor Richard Riordan was invited but said he has a conflict, White
>House officials said.
>The group will discuss how to improve teaching in math and science.
>"There are lots of good things going on in American education, but
>not enough and not in enough places," Reed said.
>In a meeting with reporters and editors at The Times' Washington
>bureau last week, Education Secretary Richard W. Riley said one of
>the biggest weaknesses in the U.S. education system is that
>schools try to cover too much ground each year. He also cited too
>much time spent teaching increasingly difficult arithmetic problems
>instead of moving children on to geometry, algebra and calculus.
>An interesting aspect of the study's results is that American
>fourth-graders scored at the top, but in the eighth and 12th
>grades, their performance dropped in relation to their foreign
>White House officials said Clinton does not plan a major new
>federal initiative to improve performance of American teens in math
>and science but instead will try to stimulate states and localities
> to address the problem.
>Nonetheless, White House officials said they believe the
>president's previously announced education initiatives would push
>the country in the right direction.
>Those initiatives, none of which has been passed by Congress,
> * a $22-billion bond initiative to repair and build schools;
> * a $12-billion block grant for states to decrease class sizes;
> * $1 billion for after-school programs to keep kids off the
> streets.

Fran Berry, Co-Principal Investigator
CONNECT, Colorado's Statewide Systemic Initiative in Mathematics and Science
1580 Logan, Suite 740
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 894-2142
Fax: (303) 894-2141
CONNECT Home Page:

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