Coalition Vows To Raise Science, Math Test Scores
Washington--A coalition of national education groups has pledged a concerted effort over the next five years to improve U.S. instruction and test scores in science and mathematics.
The Educational Leaders Consortium launched the initiative late last month in response to an earlier directive from members to galvanize action "toward restoring the country to a leadership position in international achievement-score comparisons."
The 18-member consortium includes groups representing school administrators, principals, school boards, and curriculum specialists. It has set as a goal for the new endeavor moving the United States into the top-five rankings in international comparisons in mathematics and science by 1995.
The group cited a 1988 study by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement showing that 5th-grade students in the United States held a middle position among the top-ranked 16 countries in science achievement and that American 9th graders ranked only 13th.
Gordon Cawelti, executive director of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, said he had proposed setting a specific goal to improve the U.S. standing at a previous e.l.c. meeting. Plans for last week's education summit in Charlottesville, Va., he said, "gave some impetus to its consideration."
"This is a real test of whether the education community can agree on a particular contribution all of our organizations can make toward a common goal," he said. "Everybody in this town believes in collaboration, but there are not very many that do it."
The process could become a "prototype" for the education community to set goals in other subjects or areas of concern, Mr. Cawelti predicted.
Federal, Other Help Sought
To help meet its goal, the e.l.c. said it would seek cooperation and support from the President, the Education Department, the National Science Foundation, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and various professional orga8nizations and foundations.
The consortium will hold a meeting on Dec. 14 to discuss the kinds of strategies and tests needed to accomplish its goal and the kinds of contributions various groups and agencies can make.
Members of the Educational Leaders Consortium include the following:
The Association for Advancement of International Education, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Association of School Personnel Administrators, the Association of School Business Officials, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The Council of Educational Facility Planners International, the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Association of Partners in Education, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Alliance of Black School Educators, the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
The National Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Pupil Personnel Administrators, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Community Education Association, the National School Boards Association, and the National School Public Relations Association.