The National Math and Science Initiative, Inc. (NMSI) is an innovative non-profit organization created to facilitate the national scale-up of programs that have a demonstrated impact on math and science education in the United States. Initial funding for NMSI comes from ExxonMobil, which will be providing $125 million.
American students today are underperforming in math and science, and too many math and science teachers do not have the benefit of specific training and support in the math and science subjects they teach. To continue to innovate, the United States must upgrade and accelerate its commitment to improving educational quality. Consider:
Only 29% of American fourth grade students, 32 percent of eighth grade students, and 18 percent of 12th grade students performed at or above the proficient level in science. About 30% of high school mathematics students and 60% of those enrolled in physical science have teachers who either did not major in the subject in college or are not certified to teach it. Among low-income students, 70% of their middle school mathematics teachers majored in some other subject in college. Those undergraduates who switch from science and engineering majors to other majors are often among the most highly qualified college entrants, and they are disproportionately women and students of color. The U.S. ranks 16th of 17 nations in the proportion of 24-year-olds who earn degrees in natural science or engineering as opposed to other majors. Despite these disturbing trends, there are proven strategies to improve math and science education-but they must be expanded in order to make a difference at a national level. That's why NMSI is supporting the expansion of two proven programs, endorsed by the Gathering Storm report:
Training and incentive programs for AP and Pre-AP courses which encourage excellence among the teachers and students of these courses; and
UTeach, which encourages math and science majors to enter the teaching profession by offering compact degree plans, early teaching experiences, and financial assistance for undergraduates. Within five years, NMSI seeks to have training and incentive programs in 150 school districts in 20 states and UTeach running on more than 50 campuses nationwide. – less–ZoomInfo