49 Government, Civic Leaders Suggest Guidelines for Senate Math-Science Bill
Washington--Forty-nine of the nation's leaders in government, business, labor, and education have told the U.S. Senate, which this week is considering numerous bills to improve mathematics and science education, that they believe the legislation should "reflect" 10 general principles.
Led by the Dr. David A. Hamburg, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the group includes six governors, one senator, three university presidents, and a number of corporation, foundation, and education officials. (See list of participants on page 17.)
Their statement asks the Senate to include provisions aimed at improving literacy in mathematics and science "for the general population,'' for women and minorities, and for "the most talented." It also emphasizes "partnerships" among business and labor, education, and government entities and it asks the Congress to encourage "the best scientific minds of the nation" to help improve science education.
"The current situation demands a sense of urgency and calls for bold and creative action. All major sectors are ready to pitch in behind leadership willing to put the highest priority on building our nation's economic resources," the statement says.
The nine-page document, which was scheduled to be presented by Dr. Hamburg to the Senate education subcommittee last Friday, is the result of a conference on the relationship between education and economic growth held in February at the corporation's New York headquarters, Dr. Hamburg said.
The participants reviewed the state and local improvement initiatives under way across the country, and concluded that "the present economic challenge is more profound than Sputnik and as fundamental as the change from an agrarian to an industrial economy after the Civil War," according to the group's statement.
They agreed that "the educational system is in need of major reforms" and that "we are at a critical turning point," Dr. Hamburg said.
There was also a consensus among the group's members that they should act promptly, and jointly, to influence federal action because the Congress was preparing to vote on legislation, he said. "We don't want to say to members of Congress, 'this is what you should do,"' Dr. Hamburg said. "The general principles embody what this diverse and very involved group believes is constructive for the strengthening of the educational system."
The group was briefed on the numerous--13 as of last week--sepa-rate bills that the Senate is currently considering. One piece of legislation, the "high-technology Morrill act," sponsored by Senator Paul E. Tsongas, Democrat of Massachusetts, was given particular attention, because it would create a "trust fund" to finance long-term collaborative efforts among states, businesses, and educational institutions.
Although the group did not specifically endorse the Tsongas bill, its members included the three Boston-area businessmen who published a book last fall that called for the creation of the high-technology trust fund. The authors of the book, Global Stakes, are James Botkin, Ray Stata, and Dan Dimancescu.
In addition to influencing action on current legislation, the Carnegie group, which is known informally as the "forum on education and economic progress," plans to meet later this year to discuss a long-term "mechanism" for monitoring the nation's progress in mathematics and science education, Dr. Hamburg said.
The group's statement asks that the federal legislation:
"Serve two major purposes: Improvement in mathematical and scientific literacy for the general population and development of high-level skills, including foreign-language skills, among the most talented";
"Include three levels of education in a comprehensive approach: schools, colleges, and adult retraining";
"Build on state and local initiatives";
"Encourage partnerships among business/labor, education, and government";
"Support both good programs already in operation and new programs aimed at reform";
"Emphasize talent development among minorities and women";
"Enlist the best scientific minds of the nation to work on school and college curriculum projects as well as teacher training";
"Recognize the dignity and worth of school and college teachers";
"Provide incentives to leverage and encourage state, local, and private investment in education"; and
"Build in a sustained federal role."
Following are the names of those who endorsed the 10 principles:
Robert C. Andringa, Executive Director, Education Commission of the States; Susan Berresford, Vice President, The Ford Foundation; James Botkin, Partner, Technology & Strategy Group; Lewis Branscomb, Vice President and Chief Scientist, ibm Corporation; Harvey Brooks, Professor, Harvard University; James Campbell, President, misso Corporation; Jose A. Cardenas, Director, Intercultural Development Research Association; William D. Carey, Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Pat Choate, Senior Policy Analyst, trw; Richard M. Cyert, President, Carnegie-Mellon University; Dan Dimancescu, Partner, Technology & Strategy Group; Thomas R. Donahue, Secretary-Treasurer, afl\cio; The Hon. Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of Massachusetts; The Hon. Pierre S. duPont, IV, Governor of Delaware; Eli N. Evans, President, Charles H. Revson Foundation; David Pierpont Gardner, President, University of Utah; Dr. David A. Hamburg, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York; Anna J. Harrison, President-elect, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fred M. Hechinger, President, New York Times Company Foundation Inc.; Harold Howe II, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education; John C. Hoy, President, New England Board of Higher Education; The Hon. James B. Hunt Jr., Governor of North Carolina; The Hon. Thomas H. Kean, Governor of New Jersey; Clark Kerr, Institute for Industrial Relations, University of California, Berkeley; The Hon. Richard D. Lamm, Governor of Colorado; Richard W. Lyman, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Evelyn F. Murphy, Secretary of Economic Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Frank Newman, President, University of Rhode Island; Michael O'Keefe, Vice President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Jack Peltason, President, American Council on Education; Frank Press, President, National Academy of Sciences; Robert Reich, Lecturer, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Robert M. Rosenzweig, President, Association of American Universities; F. James Rutherford, Chief Education Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Isabel V. Sawhill, Senior Fellow, The Urban Institute; Cecily Cannan Selby, Co-Chair, National Science Board Commission on Precollege Education in Mathematics, Science & Technology; Albert Shanker, President, American Federation of Teachers; Robert Solow, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Raymond Stata, President, Analog Devices Inc.; John C. Taylor III, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Jerald C. terHorst, Director, Washington Public Affairs, Ford Motor Company; Scott D. Thomson, Executive Director, The National Association of Secondary School Principals; Lester C. Thurow, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; The Hon. Paul E. Tsongas, United States Senate; Marc Tucker, Director, Project on Information Technology and Education; P. Roy Vagelos, President, Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories; Glen E. Watts, President, Communications Workers of America; Clifton R. Wharton Jr., Chancellor, State University of New York System; The Hon. William F. Winter, Governor of Mississippi.
Vol. 02, Issue 29