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8 Indicators of Financial and Leadership Support RESOURCES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL High-quality mathematics and science instruction requires sig- nificant financial support. As pointed out in Chapter 6, to attract and retain talented science and mathematics teachers, the schools must provide adequate salaries and the resources that teachers need to teach well. Moreover, good facilities, adequate time for planning instruction, and continuing professional development are necessary not only to attract talented teachers and support their teaching ef- forts, but also to support the development and use of curricula of high quality. Traditionally, financial support has been monitored through such indicators as expenditures per pupil, expenditures per student as a percentage of income per capita, average teacher salary, nail /teacher ratio or nul)il/staff ratio, federal funds as a percent- age of school revenues, and the like (see, e.g., National Center for Education Statistics, 1985~. There are two reasons why the committee does not recommend the collection of additional information of this sort at the district level focused specifically on mathematics and science instruction. First, indicators of the particular resources purchased with school funds and how these resources are used to produce instruction, including time spent on specific subjects, provide more reliable evidence of the ad- equacy of financial support for mathematics and science instruction rid--/ ~ 143

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144 INDICATORS OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION than do data on expenditures per pupil and other such traditional in- dicators of investments in education (Wiley and Harnischfeger, 1974; Denham and Lieberman, 1980; Levin, 1980~. Second, the accounting systems in use in most American school districts do not permit the calculation of meaningful numbers on expenditures at the district level specifically supporting science and mathematics instruction. In a commissioned paper for the committee, Alexander (1985) described the requirements for a cost-accounting system that would be needed by local school districts to measure program costs for science and mathematics. According to Alexander (1985:163: An analysis of program costs for mathematics and science requires that expenditure components attributable to the respective programs be identified. Costs and expenditures are not synonymous. To find the actual costs of a particular program may involve expenditures from several budgetary components as well as indirect costs which must be prorated among programs or areas.... Costs for mathematics and science programs must necessarily derive from a school and course analysis. Costs for programs at the school district level would be derived from aggregation. Sue costs of programs can only be accurately determined by analysis at the school level. The amount of time and effort that would be needed to develop, implement, and operate such a cost-analysis system in each local district is likely to discourage this approach to a financial indicator, particularly in view of the mixed findings in the literature on the con- nections between general educational expenditures and educational outcomes (see, e.g., Cohn and Riew, 1974~. After considerable discussion, the committee concluded that the best indicators would focus, not on dollars per se, but on the things money buys in a good educational program, namely, competitive salaries; the materials, supplies, and facilities needed to teach and learn well; time for teachers to plan instruction and engage in other professional activities; and opportunities provided to teachers for professional growth. Chapter 6 discusses these matters in greater de- tai] and provides recommendations for the development of indicators of salaries, adequacy of working conditions, and availability and use of facilities, instructional materials, and supplies. FEDERAL FINANCIAI, SUPPORT One way of gauging social commitment to an enterprise is to examine the amount of resources expended on it. Policy analysts (see, e.g., Wildavsky, 1979) have argued that the intent of public

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INDICATORS OF FINANCIAL AND LEADERSHIP SUPPORT 145 policy is to use public resources to achieve desired ends. The in- vestment of federal funds in education certainly is a case in point. Concern with production of sufficient manpower in fields of perceived shortages has led to federal funding of fellowships for graduate and professional education; federal funds have supported the creation and maintenance of special educational programs for a variety of popu- lations seen as underserved by the schools poor children, children with physical handicaps and learning disabilities, children whose first language is not English, and children from minority ethnic groups (e.g., the recent program of magnet schools); in the 1960s, federal funds were invested in science and mathematics education to ensure a well-educated corps of scientists and engineers. Although the federal financial contribution to elementary and secondary school science and mathematics instruction at any time has been small relative to state and local contributions, the fed- eral government is in a unique position to exercise leadership for example, by supporting the development of innovative curricula, by sponsoring educational and recognition programs for teachers, and by emphasizing that all children should have science and mathematics instruction of high quality. Therefore, indicators of federal support can provide important evidence of the social commitment to science and mathematics education (Catterall, 1986~. The committee be- lieves that it would be valuable to collect information annually on the level of federal financial support for elementary and secondary school science and mathematics instruction. This information should be broken down by discipline supported, school level (elementary, mid- dIe school, high school), and type of activity supported (materials development, teacher education/professional development, research and assessment, facilities and supplies, informal education, recogni- tion programs, student activities). Collecting information on the level of federal financial support of science and mathematics instruction is not straightforward. Some of the problems in obtaining reliable information on federal support were described by Mason (1985) in a paper written for the com- mittee. Foremost is the fact that support comes from a number of federal agencies, but in several of the agency budgets, the dollars devoted to support for elementary and secondary school science and mathematics instruction do not appear as separate line items. Where data are available, they are found at two levels, at the macro-level of agency budgets and appropriations and at the micro-level of projects and activities.

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146 INDICATORS OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION An indicator of federal financial support based on macro-level data would include the portion of an agency budget specifically des- ignated for mathematics anti science education. For example, federal funds for education provided under the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) would have been included in a macro-level indicator, since the act included specific line item programs for improving pre- college science and mathematics education, such as grants to public schools for laboratory and other special equipment used in teaching science and mathematics. A more recent example is the Education for Economic Security Act of 1983 (P.~. 98-377), which authorized financial assistance for state and local education agencies and in- stitutions of higher education to improve the skills of teachers in mathematics, science, computer learning, and foreign languages. The programs of the National Science Foundation (NSF) are the most visible and well-documented federal activities in science and mathematics education, and the NSF budget for education activities is often cited as an indicator of federal support. For the period from 1952 to 1980, science education obligations of NSF were reported ac- cording to function and level of education, with five main functional categories: research and development, students, teachers, institu- tions, and science and society. Currently, the precollege science edu- cation budget at NSF is organized as follows: materials development and informal education; teacher preparation and enhancement; and studies, research, and program assessment. The budget categories of NSF provide a useful starting point for developing indicators, but some analysis of project support would be necessary to report trend lines (Knapp et al., 1987~. It is not satisfactory to base an indicator of federal financial support on the NSF budget alone, since NSF is only one of several sources of federal support for science and mathematics education. However, an assessment of other federal financial support would re- quire analyses of data at the micro-level of projects and activities administered by each agency. This kind of analysis can be conducted with varying degrees of ease or difficulty. For example, in the Depart- ment of Education, the largest grant programs to states and local districts are targeted broadly at students with special needs rather than at particular curricular areas. The Education for All Handi- capped Children Act and Chapter 1 of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act, which is targeted on disadvantaged children, provide funding for compensatory education. Although mathematics education is a major component of these programs, and, to a lesser

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INDICATORS OF FINANCIAL AND LEADERSHIP SUPPORT 147 degree, science and computer activities, no figures are currently avail- able on dollars allocated to specific subjects. A special study would be needed to determine levels of funding by subject. Such a study would have to be sensitive to the problem of equating compensatory courses or activities in mathematics or science with regular instruc- tion and making judgments on the extent to which compensatory education indicates improvement or decline in the quality of educa- tion in gracles 1-12. Similarly, research and development supported by the Department of Education is not disaggregated by budget line items for specific subject areas. To develop an indicator, an analysis would be needed of the projects, grants, and contracts funded each year. Other federal agencies, for example, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, may provide significant support for science and mathematics education in the schools and through out- of-schoo] programs. Even with data at the micro-level of projects and activities, however, it would be difficult to make the needed distinc- tions within the budgets of these agencies for three reasons. First, funding data are not typically aggregated by function, and relevant projects or activities are not always identified as education projects or activities. Second, education activities, even when identified, are not necessarily classified as precollege or college-level activities. And third, science and mathematics education activities may not be dis- tinguished from other subject areas. Thus, neither review of agency budgets nor analyzing lists of projects or activities may be effective in developing a reliable indicator of federal financial support for science and mathematics education in grades 1-12. Categories of agency budgets tend to be highly generalized, and for most policy-analysis purposes it is necessary to obtain special cross-cIassifications or subcategories. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publishes a special analysis (K) on research and development from all agencies, but research and development related to science and mathematics education is not separately identified. Until a few years ago, OMB published a special analysis of education, but without breakdowns by subject area. According to OMB staff, there are no current plans for special analyses of education by subject (Bernard Martin, OMB, personal communication, August 1986~.

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148 INDICATORS OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION Recommendation Supplementary Indicator: The committee recommends the construction of a set of accounts detailing the level and type of support for science and mathematics education from all departments and agencies of the federal government that fund relevant programs. The importance of having reliable annual data on the level of federal financial support merits the investment necessary to con- struct such a set of accounts. Agencies should be encouraged to report budget and funding data by categories identifiable as precol- lege mathematics and science education, and funds should-be made available (possibly through NSF) to perform the necessary analy- ses. The kind of disaggregation of financial support for science and mathematics education found in the NSF budget could be used as a model for developing the recommended cross-agency indicator of federal support. A somewhat similar argument could be made for a state-level indicator of financial investment in mathematics and science educa- tion. State policy makers continually have to make funding choices among all the curriculum areas. For example, should a program manager for state discretionary money direct the program staff for gifted students to emphasize the arts or science in its grant awards? Should policy makers influence program managers to use discre- tionary monies for staff development in reading or in mathematics? Should more mathematics and science specialists or consultants be hired? These state-level decisions not only demonstrate fiscal prior- ities but also send direct messages to local school personnel about what is important. Therefore, such decisions are also a way of de- scribing the leadership role the state has taken in curriculum areas, particularly if there are discernible trends in financial support over time. Financial support for student testing is another indicator of how important a curriculum area such as science is considered to be. For example, only half the states provide for state assessment of science knowledge, and the national assessment occurs at best every four years, whereas mathematics and reading are tested more frequently at both state and national levels. While the committee has not suggested specific indicators of fi- nancial investment in mathematics and science education at the state or district level for the reasons indicated above, individual states and

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INDICATORS OF FINANCIAL AND LEADERSHIP SUPPORT 149 localities may wish to consider whether tracking such investments would give them useful information on curricular priorities. NATIONAL LEADERSHIP Support for elementary and secondary science and mathematics education at the national level should be measured not only in federal dollars but also in terms of the activities and efforts of the national scientific leadership. In the committee's view, the level of general social commitment to science and mathematics education needs to be motivated and shaped by the commitment of national leaders and leadership organizations of the scientific community (see Committee on Research in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, 1987~. Examples from the past could be cited: the American Chemi- cal Society, together with Glenn Seaborg, a national leader in science and education then and now, sparked the initiation and develop- ment of one of the major curriculum development projects of the 1960s (Seaborg, quoted in Committee on Research in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, 1987~. The School Mathematics Study Group, probably the most influential curricuTum-reform group of mathematics in the 1960s, was organized under the auspices of the American Mathematical Society, representing active researchers in mathematics, which "made it possible for a large number of distin- guished college teachers and research mathematicians to enter whole- heartedly into cooperation with high school teachers in a concerted effort to improve the quality and presentation of school mathemat- ics" (Wooton, 1965:13~. It is not evident to what extent the scientific community remains involved in the improvement of science educa- tion. Since the success of any national effort will depend critically on the participation of scientific leaders, measures of the degree of their involvement are urgently needed. While the interest and involvement of individual scientists in elementary and secondary education will always be idiosyncratic, the involvement of national scientific bodies ought to be constant and sustained. To monitor such commitment, a possible indicator might be the fraction of the staff and budget of relevant organiza- tions that is devoted to advancing and improving elementary and secondary school science and mathematics education. These orga- nizations include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, the Mathematical Asso- ciation of America, the American Institute of Physics, the American

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150 INDICATORS OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION TABLE 8-1 Investment in Education by the American Chemical Society Level Percentage 1986 1987 Elementary 7 8 High school 17 18 College 33 33 College and high school* 15 15 Other 28 26 Total funding $985,000 $1,033,000 Some programs serve both the college and high school communities. Chemical Society, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the American Geological Institute. Some of these organizations have education divisions and ongoing projects of support to education; it would therefore be relatively easy to track increases and decreases in support over time. For example, the American Chemical Society intends to spend about 22.4 percent of its dues on education, divided as shown in Table 8-1. The society has about 16 staff members who provide educational services supported by dues. In addition, in 1986, grant-supported programs provided for educational activities funded at $658,000; in 1987, this figure is expected to exceed $500,000. The society also op- erates self-sustaining activities budgeted for revenues of $2,249,000 in 1986 and $2,375,000 for 1987. This includes development and distribution of all kinds of educational materials such as newsletters, classroom curricular materials, comic books for elementary school children, textbook series for prospective chemistry technicians, and a variety of training programs (Kenneth Chapman, personal commu- nication, September 26, 1986~. This sort of information should be available in a systematic way, but it is not. There are two reasons why it is important to obtain it on a continuing basis for individual fields of science and their associated professional bodies. First, if data on investments in education by scientific bodies were available periodically, one could track the level of involvement of the scientific community in the improvement of science education over time. Second, the efforts of individual professional societies could be compared with the needs in each field and with the efforts of their sister societies. In that

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INDICATORS OF FINANCIAL AND LEADERSHIP SUPPORT 151 connection, it also would be of interest to obtain an estimate of the pro-rated time of top executives and elected officials that is devoted to education-related activities. Such measures, after appropriate analysis, would provide evidence of changes in the extent to which the national scientific leadership devotes time and energy to improving science and mathematics instruction in elementary and secondary school. Recommendation Supplementary Indicator: The committee recommends that indicators be designed using budgetary data of scien- tific bodies and information on staff time and volunteer time devoted to education and that these indicators be routinely available to reflect the commitment of resources by scien- tific bodies for the improvement of mathematics and science education in the schools.