On behalf of the National Science Board (NSB), the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) produces Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI), a biennial compendium of quantitative data on U.S. and international science and engineering education and productivity. Each SEI report is accompanied by companion pieces in which the NSB focuses on trends that raise important policy concerns.
In 2011, the National Research Council (NRC) released the report Successful K-12 STEM Education, which made recommendations for improvement in the areas of students’ access to STEM learning, educators’ capacity, and funding and policy initiatives. In 2013, a second NRC committee released the report Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 Education: A Nation Advancing? calling for a national indicator system that could be used by both policymakers and practitioners to improve STEM education. The report lists 14 Indicators that, if measured regularly, could catalyze improvement. This call has gained policymakers’ attention at the highest levels, with Congress directing NSF to begin implementing a progress monitoring system for the indicators. However, some of the Indicators require further conceptual work and preliminary research before a data collection plan can be solidified.
SRI Education, a division of SRI International, is supporting NSF by developing a road map for measuring and reporting on the 14 Indicators. SRI is compiling data on each indicator where available and recommending an agenda to support the collection of enhanced data in the future. The purpose of these activities is to enable the NSB Committee on Science and Engineering Indicators to consider and approve companion reports for upcoming SEI reports addressing the Indicators.