Appendix A
Executive Summary*

Attracting Science and Mathematics PhDs to Secondary School Education

The United States is at a critical juncture in science and mathematics education. The U.S. Department of Education has projected that the nation’s school systems will need to hire more than two million new teachers during the next decade. Finding qualified teachers of science and mathematics will pose a special challenge, as many school districts already find it difficult to recruit science teachers. This report examines whether recent Ph.D.s in science and mathematics might provide an additional resource for helping to meet the nation’s need for qualified secondary school science and mathematics teachers in the coming years, while creating valuable connections between U.S. schools and our vibrant science and engineering communities.


The National Research Council (NRC) has been deeply involved in the last decade in efforts to improve the science and mathematics education of our nation’s schoolchildren. The 1996 National Science Education Standards urged “changes in what students are taught, in how their performance is assessed, in how teachers are educated and keep pace, and in the relationship between schools and the rest of the community—including the nation’s


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