Last week, I spoke at a listening session on STEM research and innovation capacity convened by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Below are my remarks.
Good afternoon, my name is Robert Bellafiore. I am Research Manager at Lincoln Network, an organization focused on promoting innovation and strengthening national security.
I appreciate the chance to provide feedback on the Committee’s five-year strategic plan.
My colleague Dan Lips has been studying federal education R&D programs, including those aiming to improve STEM and computer science education. His research notes the potential for these programs to improve K-12 education, but also identifies areas for improvement that I bring to the Committee’s attention.
Federal education R&D projects are often not analyzed or broadly reported on by federal agencies. Additionally, lessons learned and best practices identified by federal education R&D programs often do not inform classroom instruction. Finally, the government and public have limited visibility into the condition of STEM and computer science education access and achievement.
In its new five-year plan, the Committee should increase the return on investment from R&D programs and improve transparency about STEM and computer science education by doing the following.
First, require the Department of Education and National Science Foundation to publish assessments of federally funded R&D projects focused on STEM and computer science education and to report annually on these activities to identify lessons learned and best practices.
Second, require federal agencies to improve coordination.
Third, include in the Committee’s annual report a summary budget for STEM education R&D expenditures and a summary of any outcomes from these programs.
Finally, identify opportunities to improve statistical collection and national assessments regarding students’ STEM education learning opportunities and academic achievement.
Thank you for your consideration.