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Improving, Indicators of the Quality of Science and Mathematics Education in Grades K 12 Richard ]. Murnane and Senta A. Raizen, Editors Committee on Indicators of Precollege Science and Mathematics Education Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1988
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National Academy Press · 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. · Washington, D. C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It ~ autonomous In its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the senricce of eminent membere of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the rceponsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thicr is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering l~nowlcdge and advising the federal go~rernmcat. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Scienece and the National Academy of Engineering in providing ser~rices to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communitice. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and Rice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.~. Committee on Indicators of Precollege Science and Mathematics Education. Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Bibliography Includes index. 1. Science-Study and teaching United States Evaluation. 2. Mathematice Study and teaching United States- Evaluation. I. Murnane, Richard J. II. Raizen Senta A. III. National Research Council (U.S.~. Committee on Indicators of Precollege Science and Mathematics Education. Q183.3.AlI48 1987 507'.1073-dcl9 87-31230 ISBN 0-309-03740-9 Printed in the United States of America
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COMMITTEE ON INDICATORS OF PRECOLLEGE SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION RICHARD J. MURNANE (Chair), Harvard University (economics) LLOYD BOND, University of Pittsburgh (psychometrics) NORMAN O. FREDERIKSEN, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey (psychology) ALICE B. FULTON, University of Iowa (biochemistry) GERALD HOLTON, Harvard University (physics, history of science) LYLE V. JONES, University of North Carolina (psychometrics) C. THOMAS KERINS, Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield (education administration) GEORGE MILLER, University of California, Irvine (chemistry) HAROLD NISSELSON, Westat, Inc., Rockville, Maryland (mathematical statistics) JEROME PINE, California Institute of Technology (physics) MARY BUDD ROWE, University of Florida (science education) MARSHALL S. SMITH, Stanford University (education measurement, and evaluation) WAYNE W. WELCH, University of Minnesota (science education) SAMUEL ]. MESSICK (ex officio), member, National Research Council Committee on Research in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education; Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey (psychometrics, cognitive science) SENTA A. RAIZEN, Study Director ROLF BLANK, Research Associate · .- 111
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Preface This is the second report of the Committee on Indicators of Precollege Science and Mathematics Education. The committee was established by the National Research Council to develop better in- dicators of the condition of science and mathematics education in the nation's schools. The impetus for the work came from a con- vocation held by the National Academy of Sciences in spring 1982 on mathematics and science education; additional motivation came from various reports on the condition of education that appeared in fall 1982 and spring 1983, including those by the National Sci- ence Foundation (NSF), the National Commission on Excellence in Education, and the Twentieth Century Fund. These reports found serious inadequacies in precollege educa- tion; a number of them suggested that many U.S. students leave high school without adequate preparation in science and mathemat- ics, whether for the job market, for continuing their education, or for informed citizenship. The reports identified such specific school deficiencies as teacher shortages, inadequate curricula, and Tow stan- dards of student performance. These reports elicited widespread concern about the state of schooling; however, questions were also raised about the quality of the information used to formulate many of the conclusions and policy recommendations in the reports. v
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V1 PREFA CE This concern led to the creation of our committee, which is charged with laying a foundation for the development of an adequate monitoring system for use at the national, state, and local levels, so that the condition of mathematics and science education can be tracked, particularly the ejects of current efforts at improvement. The committee's first report, issued in 1985, concentrated on conventional indicators and current data bases. Both the committee and reviewers suggested that the next step should be consideration of new indicators that would provide more penetrating insights on the condition of science and mathematics education. Hence, with support from the National Science Foundation, the committee has continued its work on developing an improved system of indicators, including recommendations on more imaginative assessment mea- sures for present use as well as on research to create new indicators. Some of the problems identified in the first report have received further attention, for example, defining teaching effectiveness, devel- oping indicators of the quality of curriculum content, and improving assessment of student performance. Some potential indicators iden- tified but not selected for discussion in the first report have been reexamined. The committee conducted several activities to enlarge the per- spectives and knowledge on indicators represented by its members. In fall 1985, some 50 outside experts participated in a workshop chaired by Lyle Jones aimed at developing improved approaches to indicators (Appendix A is a list of participants). Discussions in each of the subgroups led to the organization of the report into sec- tions dealing with scientific and mathematical literacy; assessment of student learning; measures of student behaviors, attitudes, and mo- tivation; measures of teaching effectiveness; assessment of the quality of curriculum content; and indicators of financial investment. On the last topic, two papers were commissioned, one by Ward S. Mason on indicators of federal investment in precollege science, mathematics, and technology education, and one by Kern Alexander on costs of school mathematics and science programs. Ideas suggested at the workshop on each of the six areas were subsequently used by the committee in formulating its report. The committee also conducted a review of the science content in nine selected achievement tests used by many secondary schools. The results of the review, performed by a group of scientists and science teachers, were used by the committee in developing its findings on problems with achievement tests and in recommending strategies
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PREFACE ·e V11 for improving methods of assessing learning in science. Appendix B summarizes the procedures and results of the test assessment and lists participants. In spring 1986, the committee convened a meeting with repre- sentatives from state education agencies and another meeting with representatives of large local school districts. Each of the meetings was attended by administrators responsible for research and evalua- tion and by curriculum supervisors. The purpose of the meetings was to learn of the needs, interests, and concerns of education officials at these levels about indicators of science and mathematics educa- tion and to have them comment on the feasibility and usefulness of the committee's proposed approaches. The discussions with state and local officials, summarized in Appendix C, produced insightful comments on the committee's initial ideas as well as useful new sug- gestions of strategies for improving indicators. A number of these suggestions are reflected in this report. In addition to its own activities, the committee's work has prof- ited from several other efforts proceeding concurrently to develop and improve indicators of the quality of American education. The committee has kept in close contact with these efforts, which are described in Appendix D, and has both learned from them and in- fluenced their work. In formulating this report, the committee brought to this wealth of information the distinct disciplinary perspectives of its members. While the general findings and recommendations belong to the com- mittee as a whole, ~ am appreciative of the hard work done by individual members in drafting the text for each chapter: by Alice Fulton and myself for Chapter 2, by Lloyd Bond and Harold Nisselson for Chapter 3, by Norman Frederiksen and Jerome Pine for Chapter 4, by Mary Budd Rowe and Wayne Welch for Chapter 5, by George Miller and myself for Chapter 6, by Marshall Smith and Senta Raizen for Chapter 7, and by C. Thomas Kerins for the sections in several chapters dealing with implications for state education agencies. The staff drafted Chapter 8 and Appendixes B. C, and D, and Harold Nisselson drafted Appendix E. The committee is grateful for the support provided by the Na- tional Science Foundation for its work and the unfailing help and en- couragement extended by NSF's Richard Berry. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions to the committee's early deliberations by John Truxal (State University of New York, Stony Brook), chair
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·. ~ V111 PREFA CE of the committee in 1985, Thomas Lippincott (University of Wis- consin), and Henry PolIak (Bell Communications Research, Inc.), all three of whom were committee members who had to resign midway through our work. Special appreciation is due to F. Joe Crosswhite (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), John Dossey (Illinois State University), Henry PolIak, and Thomas Romberg (University of Wisconsin), all of whom reviewed and commented on the text of the report with respect to mathematics. ~ would particularly like to thank Senta Raizen, the study di- rector of this project, for her enormous contribution. Not only did her knowledge, wisdom, wit, and hard work contribute directly to the report, but she also motivated all comrn~ttee members to work much harder on this project than they initially had in mind. The committee also appreciates the work of staff members Rolf Blank and Barbara Darr and the careful editing of Christine McShane. RICHARD J. MURNANE, Chair Committee on Indicators of Precollege Science and Mathematics Education
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Contents 1 Summary and Recommendations 2 Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education 3 4 What Are Indicators? Indicators of Learning in Science and Mathematics Indicators of Student Behavior 6 Indicators of Teaching Quality 7 Indicators of Curriculum 8 Indicators of Financial and I`eadership Support References APPENDIXES A Colloquium on Indicators of Precollege Science and Mathematics Education: Participants B Review of Science Content in Selected Student Achievement Tests Summaries of Meetings with Representatives of State and Local Education Agencies D Current Projects on Indicators E Coordination of Strategies for Collecting Data Index 1X 1 15 27 40 73 90 119 143 152 171 175 181 197 206 209
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