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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on math and science education, focusing on: (1) the key efforts undertaken by the Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health, and the nine federal agencies under the purview of the House Committee on Science that support the development and dissemination of comprehensive kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics and science curriculum materials and the characteristics of these efforts; (2) the extent to which federal agencies coordinated their efforts to develop and disseminate these materials; and (3) the extent to which agencies assessed the quality and use of these materials.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Education The Secretary of Education should direct the Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement to ensure that all agencies are aware of their responsibilities to submit materials to the Eisenhower Clearinghouse by notifying them of the requirements under the act and establishing guidelines for agencies to follow in submitting the materials.
Closed - Implemented
On June 26, 2001, the agency partially implemented GAO's recommendation by cosponsoring a workshop on the evaluation and dissemination of math and science education materials. During the workshop, an Eisenhower Clearinghouse representative discussed, with officials from the federal agencies in attendance, the requirement that each federal agency submit copies of all the math and science materials they develop to the clearinghouse. Also discussed were the clearinghouse's congressionally mandated role as a permanent repository of math and science materials, as well as the types of resources the clearinghouse collects. On September 9, 2002, Education reported that the Eisenhower Clearinghouse staff had established guidelines and procedures for federal agencies to use in submitting materials to the Clearinghouse, and posted them to its web site.
National Science Foundation The Secretary of Education and the Director, National Science Foundation, should inform agencies that do not generally evaluate their educational materials about the importance of conducting such evaluations and about mechanisms available for evaluating their materials, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science's and Education's expert panel process.
Closed - Implemented
On June 26, 2001, the agency implemented GAO's recommendation by cosponsoring a workshop on the evaluation and dissemination of math and science education materials. During the workshop, agency officials discussed, with officials from the federal agencies in attendance, the evaluation of math and science materials including quality review procedures for math and science materials and the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Project 2061 process for evaluating materials.
Department of Education The Secretary of Education and the Director, National Science Foundation, should inform agencies that do not generally evaluate their educational materials about the importance of conducting such evaluations and about mechanisms available for evaluating their materials, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science's and Education's expert panel process.
Closed - Implemented
On June 26, 2001, the agency cosponsored a workshop on the evaluation and dissemination of math and science materials. During the workshop, agency officials discussed, with officials from the federal agencies in attendance, the evaluation of math and science education materials including the principles and practices for evaluating these materials and the evaluation efforts of the Eisenhower Clearinghouse.

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