U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley announced the appointment of the members to the new National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, to be chaired by former U.S. Senator and astronaut John Glenn. The year-long Commission will develop a strategy to raise the quality of mathematics and science teaching in all of the nation's classrooms.
With a surge in school-age population - "the baby boom echo" -- and a record number of teacher retirements, the U.S. will be facing a teacher shortage during the next decade as some 2.2 million additional teachers will be needed. The shortages are particularly acute in the areas of mathematics and science. The Commission will consider ways of improving the recruitment, preparation, retention, professional growth and support for mathematics and science teachers in K-12 classrooms nationwide.
Riley noted that today's announcement coincides with the 30th anniversary of the first landing on the moon. He said that the space race stirred America and led to increasing the commitment to improve mathematics and science education.
"Today we commemorate the historic achievement that challenged our nation to reach new heights in math and science," Riley said. "Now, we need to set the stage for advancements in math and science for the next thirty years. We need to ensure that we have a high quality teaching force to prepare our youth for the challenges they will face during their lifetime."
"A student who is not taught the potential, meaning, and magic of mathematics and science is a student who is denied the opportunity of broader learning and exploration, whose dreams go unfulfilled, and whose future is limited," said Riley.
Riley had called for the formation of the Commission to address the concern that far too many U.S. students finish high school without mastering the challenging mathematics and science necessary for success in higher education and the competitive knowledge-based economy of the 21st century. The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed that, while U.S. fourth graders perform above the international average, performance in the middle grades is about average internationally, and by the end of secondary school, U.S. students score significantly below the international average in both general and advanced mathematics and science. Increasing the number of highly qualified teachers across the nation is critical to improving student achievement in mathematics and science. The Commission, made up of prominent business, education, civic and government leaders as well as grassroots teachers and school administrators, will also address the fact that many mathematics and science teachers lack the appropriate licensure and credentials for the subjects they teach. Slightly more than 25% of America's current high school math and science teachers lack a major or a minor in the subject they teach. In high poverty schools, that figure is nearly 50%. Moreover, many teachers do not have regular opportunities to improve their professional practice by upgrading content and teaching skills.
The Commission will submit its findings to Riley in the fall of 2000. "The Glenn Commission holds great promise," Riley said. "I believe it will brighten the future of mathematics and science education in this country."
MEMBERS: National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century
John Glenn, commission chair, was the first American astronaut to orbit the earth in 1962, for which he received the Space Congressional Medal of Honor. After 23 years of distinguished service in the Marine Corps, Glenn retired in 1965. He took an active part in politics and won his first Senate seat from Ohio in 1974. In 1992, John Glenn was popularly elected for his fourth consecutive term as senator. The former astronaut returned to space in 1998 aboard the shuttle Discovery making him the oldest person to fly in space.
Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Ann Arbor, Mich., is professor of mathematics education and teacher education at the University of Michigan. Her work as a researcher and teacher educator is rooted in her own experience as a classroom teacher. Her work focuses on studies of instruction and the processes of learning to teach. She also investigates efforts to improve teaching through policy, reform initiatives and teacher education. Currently, Ball is co-directing a longitudinal study designed to improve instruction and learning in mathematics in high-poverty elementary schools and is also directing a study focusing on the practice of elementary mathematics teaching.
Craig R. Barrett, Paradise Valley, Ariz., is the president and chief executive officer of Intel Corporation. He was an associate professor in material science and engineering at Stanford until 1974 when he joined Intel. Barrett was a Fulbright fellow at Danish Technical University in Denmark in 1971 and a NATO postdoctoral fellow at the National Physical Laboratory in England from 1964-1965.
Diane Briars, Pittsburgh, Pa., is mathematics director of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the co-director of PRIME, the Pittsburgh Reform in Mathematics Education Project. Briars is a former director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is currently the first vice-president of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, as well as a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources. She previously was a member of the mathematics education faculty at Northern Illinois University and taught mathematics at Robert Morris College.
Rep. Cynthia Moore Chestnut, Gainesville, Fla., is a member of the Florida House representing District 23 and is director of educational and communications programs at Community Health Center at Eastside. She is also involved with the Southeastern Regional Vision for Education (SERVE) and the Florida Commission on Education Reform and Accountability. She is the past president (1987-88) of the Florida Association of Student Services Administrators.
Sandra Feldman, New York, is the president of the American Federation of Teachers and is on the executive council of the AFL-CIO. Feldman is a former teacher and was president of the 130,000 member United Federation of Teachers of New York City from 1986-1997. An active participant in AFT's international work, Feldman is also vice president of Education International, an organization of teacher unions in democratic countries. She is widely recognized as an authority on urban education and an advocate for children.
Gov. Jim Geringer, Wyoming, is chair-elect of the Education Commission of the States. He also chairs the Western Governors' Association. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and worked on a variety of aerospace programs for both the Air Force and NASA. Prior to becoming governor, he served in both the Wyoming House of Representatives and the Wyoming State Senate.
Javier Gonzalez, Whittier, Calif., is a mathematics teacher at Pioneer High School where he created the Pioneer Math Academy. The academy provides opportunities for math enrichment during the summer. Gonzales has been named Upward Bound Teacher of the Year and was selected for the Mexican-American Cultural Institute Community Award.
Jerilyn Grignon, Neopit, Wis., is vice president of academic affairs at the College of the Menominee Nation (CMN). She speaks and conducts evaluations about mathematics and computers, cultural aspects of teaching/learning, and cultural factors within curriculum and instruction. In 1996, Grignon co-directed the 1996 NSF Summer Science Camp held at CMN.
Rep. Rush Holt, represents New Jersey's 12th District in the U.S. Congress. He has held positions as a teacher, Congressional Scientist Fellow, research scientist, and arms control expert for the U.S. State Department. Holt also served as the assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory from 1989 to 1998. In Congress, he sits on the Committees on Education and the Workforce and Budget.
Gerry House, Memphis, Tenn., is the superintendent of the Memphis City Schools. Prior to assuming this position in 1992, House served as superintendent of Chapel Hill Schools in North Carolina, where she was also a teacher, guidance counselor, and principal. House was recognized as the AASA National Superintendent of the Year for 1999 and was recognized as the Tennessee Superintendent of the Year in 1998.
Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr., is serving his fourth term as governor of North Carolina. As governor, he introduced the Excellent Schools Act, which raises standards and accountability for students and teachers. He is the chair of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future and he also created the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, on which he served as chair for 10 years. Hunt serves as the founding chair for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and was recently named chairman of the National Education Goals Panel.
Sen. James M. Jeffords of Vermont is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate. Prior to his election to the Senate, Jeffords served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1988 where he was the ranking Republican member of the House Education and Labor Committee. He is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and also serves on the Finance, Veterans' Affairs, and Special Aging Committees.
Anne Jolly, Mobile, Ala., is the Science Department chair at Cranford Burns Middle School. Jolly was the 1994 Alabama State Teacher of the Year and has held the position of executive director of the Alabama State Teacher Forum since 1994. In 1996 she was a panel member for the President's Southern Region Economic Conference and was on the National Steering Committee for the America Goes Back to School community involvement initiative.
Nancy Keenan, Helena, Mont., is Montana superintendent of public instruction, a post to which she was first elected in 1989. In November 1998, she became president-elect of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Before becoming superintendent, Keenan served three sessions in the Montana House of Representatives, where she served on the Taxation, Education, Local Government, and Revenue Oversight Committees, and chaired the Human Services and Aging Committee.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts ranks third in seniority in the U.S. Senate. Kennedy is the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He also serves on the Judiciary, Armed Services, and Joint Economic Committees.
Paul L. Kimmelman, Buffalo Grove, Ill., is superintendent of West Northfield School District No. 31 in Northbrook, Ill. Kimmelman is an ex-officio member of TIMSS-R Technical Review Panel. He was also the coordinator of First in the World Consortium (1995), a group of school districts that elected to take the Third International Mathematics and Science Study and to use the results as a benchmark.
William Kirwan, Columbus, Ohio, became the president of The Ohio State University in July 1998. Prior to becoming president of OSU, Kirwan was president of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he served as a professor and administrator for 34 years. He is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. He chaired the Mathematical Sciences in the Year 2000 Committee, a task force created by the National Research Council to improve mathematics education at the nation's colleges and universities.
Maria Alicia Lopez-Freeman, Monterey Park, Calif., is executive director of the California Science Project. Lopez-Freeman is currently a consultant to NSF Urban Systemic Initiatives cities and is also the director of the Center for Teacher Leadership in Language in Language and Status Issues. She has served on the board of directors of the National Science Teachers Association and was president of the California Association of Chemistry Teachers.
Walter E. Massey, Atlanta, is president of Morehouse College. Massey is former director of the National Science Foundation, appointed by President Bush. He also served as the chairman and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Massey's past administrative and academic positions include provost and senior vice president-academic affairs of the University of California and vice president for research at The University of Chicago.
Rep. Connie Morella represents Maryland's 8th District. Morella is the chair of the Technology Subcommittee of the House Science Committee and she has been a leader in addressing the Year 2000 computer problem, in enhancing computer security, and in promoting the use of telemedicine and educational technology. She is recognized nationally for her work on children's issues, domestic violence, and women's health, educational and economic equity issues.
Dennis Van Roekel, Phoenix, is secretary-treasurer of the National Educational Association, a post to which he was elected in 1997. He teaches mathematics at Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix. Van Roekel was president of the Arizona Education Association from 1982 to 1988.
Edward B. Rust, Jr., Bloomington, Ill., is chairman and chief executive officer of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. He is also chairman of the National Alliance of Business. He serves as the chairman of the Business Roundtable's Education Task Force and is chairman of the Illinois Business Roundtable. Mr. Rust is a former member of the advisory council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Chang-Lin Tien, Berkeley, Calif., has been the NEC distinguished professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley since 1997. Prior to that he served as U.C. Berkeley's seventh chancellor. In addition to his forty years of service on the mechanical engineering faculty, Tien has also been the recipient of numerous honors in the field of heat transfer technology, including the Max Jakob Memorial Award.
Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense Rita R. Colwell, Director, National Science Foundation Daniel S. Goldin, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Neal F. Lane, Assistant to the President, and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy Bill Richardson, Secretary of Energy Rodney F. Slater, Secretary of Transportation