assessments of student learning. Convene a national panel to collect, evaluate, and develop rigorous K–12 materials that would be available free of charge as a voluntary national curriculum. The model for this action is the Project Lead the Way pre-engineering courseware.
Action A-3: Enlarge the pipeline of students who are prepared to enter college and graduate with a degree in science, engineering, or mathematics by increasing the number of students who pass AP and IB science and mathematics courses.
Create opportunities and incentives for middle school and high school students to pursue advanced work in science and mathematics. By 2010, increase the number of students who take at least one AP or IB mathematics or science exam to 1.5 million and set a goal of tripling the number who pass those tests to 700,000. Student incentives for success would include 50 percent examination fee rebates and $100 mini-scholarships for each passing score on an AP or IB science or mathematics examination. Although it is not included among the implementation actions, the committee also finds attractive the expansion of two approaches to improving K–12 science and mathematics education that are already in use:
Statewide specialty high schools: Specialty secondary education can foster leaders in science, technology, and mathematics. Specialty schools immerse students in high-quality science, technology, and mathematics education; serve as a mechanism to test teaching materials; provide a training ground for K–12 teachers; and provide the resources and staff for summer programs that introduce students to science and mathematics.
Inquiry-based learning: Summer internships and research opportunities provide especially valuable laboratory experience for both middle school and high school students.