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Topic: Business Leaders Supporting Mathematics and Science
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,524
Registered: 12/3/04
Business Leaders Supporting Mathematics and Science
Posted: Aug 4, 1998 7:29 PM
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THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS: A BUSINESS LEADER'S GUIDE
TO SUPPORTING MATH & SCIENCE ACHIEVEMENT

U.S. Department of Education and the Business Coalition for Education Reform

May 1998

Results from the recent Third International Mathematics & Science
Study (TIMSS), which compared performance in mathematics and science
of a half million students worldwide at grades 4, 8, and 12,
including 33,000 Americans, reinforces in stark terms the need for
all stakeholders in our education system to join together to boost
student performance across the board. While U.S. students at the
fourth-grade level were near the first in the world in science, and
were above the international average in mathematics, by the eighth
grade, U.S. performance had fallen to slightly above the
international average in science and to below the international
average in mathematics.

Analyses of eighth-grade teaching and curriculum show our country
has a fragmented curriculum and teaching generally is not focused on
challenging content nor is it executed in a way that promotes
problem-solving skills. By the 12th grade, U.S. ranking fell to
below average in both science and mathematics, even among our
advanced students, while our most advanced students in mathematics
were at the international average and in science below average.
This low performance is part of a larger profile: the majority of
our students do not take advanced math or science courses and do not
have a solid foundation coming out of middle school, and they are
not being taught by teachers fully trained to teach mathematics and
science.

Business knows that American students are not leaving school with
the skills they need to be successful. Jobs that require strong
academic skills are vacant due to a lack of qualified workers and
remedial training costs are rising. The point is to do something
about it - for the sake of our students, our businesses, and our
country's future.

Employers and educators are working together to address the
challenges which are made so apparent by TIMSS. "The Formula for
Success: A Business Leader's Guide to Supporting Math and Science
Achievement":

* provides the business community with vital 4th, 8th, and
12th-grade TIMSS data on mathematics and science achievement
of America's students;

* makes the link between academic achievement and workplace
success by offering workplace examples of the application of
both basic academic knowledge and the higher order thinking
skills;

* provides examples of business roles to support increased
mathematics and science achievement;

* poses questions that business leaders can use to begin or
continue conversations with other stakeholders - parents,
educators, students, policymakers - to improve mathematics
and science achievement in their community; and

* outlines resources that can assist employers in supporting
student achievement.

Copies of "The Formula for Success: A Business Leader's Guide to
Supporting Math and Science Achievement" are available from the U.S.
Department of Education, National Library of Education (call 800-
424-1616) and from the National Alliance of Business (800-787-
2848). The document is also available online at
http://www.bcer.org/timss/

********************************************************************
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)
E-mail: JBECKER@SIU.EDU





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