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NSF and NAEP Boards Advance Education Agenda
 
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August 2015
 


The National Science Board, which provides oversight and priorities for the National Science Foundation (NSF), met August 12–13. As part of the meeting, the Committee on Education and Human Resources (CEH) discussed the initial stages of identifying grand challenges in STEM education.

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, chair of CEH and dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan, noted that the initiative would build on some of the methodological advances of work funded through the NSF Education and Human Resources Directorate and would leverage resources for setting priorities in research on STEM education.

Ball described major challenges either as broadly agreed-upon problems or as less well defined areas where further work is needed to form the basis of a research agenda. The examples she provided of the former were the content knowledge of K–12 teachers in math and science and STEM achievement in the United States. The example she provided of the latter was equity in STEM education and the workforce.

National Science Board members discussed areas that could be significant challenges, including attrition in graduate education and in alignment between graduate education and the STEM workforce. CEH will be taking further steps in clarifying what a grand challenge is.

In her opening remarks, NSF Director France A. Córdova highlighted upcoming agency activities of interest to education researchers. On September 10, NSF will be holding a symposium on robust and reliable science to focus on reproducibility. Córdova also described the partnership between NSF and NBC Learn in developing videos for the Mysteries of the Brain series.

On August 6–8, the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), convened for its third quarter meeting. Terry Mazany, chair of NAGB, aims to bring important fresh ideas and innovation to NAEP. This was the first meeting for William Bushaw, who became the executive director of NAEP on July 27. Together, the two will undertake a strategic planning initiative that aims to expand the visibility of NAEP and show stakeholders its value.

 
 
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