carefully developed, and had the potential to generate valuable information about the condition of mathematics and science education in the nation’s schools and how individual components of the education system interact to affect the system as a whole (National Research Council, 1988; Shavelson, McDonnell, and Oakes, 1989). Although they were never fully implemented, these indicator systems provided a base for our work.
As we note at the beginning of this report, the committee’s proposed indicators are being offered at a time of promising changes to what is taught in K-12 science and mathematics, how students are assessed in those subjects, and how teachers are prepared to meet those changing demands. Although the proposed indicators overlap to some degree with previously developed indicators, they reflect current national priorities and recent research on teaching and learning in STEM. They also reflect the continuing interest of Congress and NSF in putting the recommendations of Successful K-12 STEM Education into action. By proposing a comparatively small set of focused, specific, and actionable indicators that are driven by research on impact, the committee hopes that the current political will and momentum will be harnessed to build and sustain a valuable monitoring and reporting system.