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Topic: [ME] Math Achievement Gender Gap is Gone
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,291
Registered: 12/3/04
[ME] Math Achievement Gender Gap is Gone
Posted: May 6, 1999 4:19 PM
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May 5, 1999

S&E DEGREES TO WOMEN, MINORITIES ON THE RISE,
MATH ACHIEVEMENT "GENDER GAP" IS GONE

The number and proportion of women and minorities enrolled and earning
undergraduate and graduate science and engineering [S&E] degrees continues
to increase, while the number of white men doing so is decreasing,
according to a National Science Foundation [NSF] report released today to
Congress.

Between 1982 and 1994, the percentages of black, Hispanic and American
Indian students taking many basic and advanced mathematics courses doubled.

And the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] mathematics
assessment results showed that the "gender gap" in mathematics achievement
has, for the most part, disappeared, says Women, Minorities, and Persons
with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 1998, a report by NSF's
Division of Science Resources Studies [SRS].

Despite these gains, women, minorities, and persons with disabilities
remain underrepresented in science and engineering fields, said the ninth
in a series of Congressionally mandated reports on the status of women and
minorities in science and engineering. The report for 1996 spurred U.S.
Rep. Connie Morella [R-MD] to sponsor a bill establishing a "Commission on
the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and
Technology Development."

The bill became Public Law 105-255, and the Commission held its first
meeting April 14. At that meeting, NSF Director Rita Colwell said the
Commission has a "vital"role in achieving a collective goal of crafting "a
new strategy and a new direction for human resource development in science
and engineering."

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and
Engineering: 1998 documents both short- and long-term trends in science
and engineering education and employment. It does not endorse or recommend
any policies or programs. Among its findings:

Asians were 3 percent of the population, and 10 percent of the S&E
workforce in 1995. Blacks, Hispanics and American Indians made up 23
percent of the population, but only 6 percent of the S&E workforce.

Students with disabilities take fewer science and mathematics courses,
have lower grades and achievement scores, and are more likely to drop out
of school than students without disabilities.

Women scientists and engineers are more likely than men to be employed in
computer or mathematical sciences, life sciences and social sciences; and
less likely to be managers if they work
in business. Women Ph.D. scientists and engineers are more likely to work
at elementary and secondary schools and two year colleges, and less likely
than men to be tenured.

The percentage of disabled scientists and engineers out of the workforce is
three times those without disabilities. Working scientists and engineers
with disabilities perform the same type of work as those without
disabilities, and earn virtually the same salary.

The complete report is available on the NSF website at:
www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/nsf99338

Program contact: Joan Burrelli [(703) 306-1777 / jburrell@nsf.gov]
Media contact: Joel Blumenthal [(703) 306-1070/jblument@nsf.gov]
**********************************************************
*
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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