Summary: H.R.4271 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4271. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/13/2000)

National Science Education Act - Amends the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (NSFA) to establish and expand programs relating to science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education.

(Sec. 3) Provides that nothing in this Act may be construed to authorize any Federal department, agency, officer, or employee to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution or school system.

(Sec. 4) Requires the NSF Director to make grants to State or local educational agencies (SEAs or LEAs) or private elementary or middle schools to hire master teachers. Requires grant applicants to describe their requirements for master teachers and how professional development will be integrated with their mathematics or science program. Requires such master teachers to: (1) provide support for not more than ten teachers at public and private schools in mathematics, science, engineering, or technology programs for students in kindergarten through the eighth grade; and (2) be responsible for in-classroom assistance and oversight of hands-on inquiry materials, equipment, and supplies, including supplying and repairing such materials. Requires such grants to be made out of funds available for the NSF for Education and Human Resources Activities.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Director to make competitive grants to secondary school and college students working with university faculty, software developers, and experts in educational technology, or to such faculty, developers, and experts working with such students, to develop high-quality educational software and Internet web sites. Requires the Director to: (1) designate official judges to recognize outstanding educational software and Internet web sites, developed with such assistance, that focus on core curriculum areas; (2) issue a certificate signed by the President and Director to each student and faculty member who develops such recognized software and sites; and (3) give priority to awarding grants to develop such software or sites in the areas of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology.

(Sec. 6) Establishes in NSF a working group to review and coordinate regular and supplemental curricula in kindergarten through the 12th grade for science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

(Sec. 7) Requires the Director, subject to appropriations, to make demonstration project grants to eligible LEAS, which may use such funds to: (1) develop an information technology program that builds or expands mathematics, science, and information technology curricula; (2) purchase equipment necessary to establish such program; and (3) provide professional development in such fields. Requires such LEAs to enter into conditional agreements with representatives of the private sector which will participate by providing services and funds, including: (1) donating computer hardware and software; (2) establishing internship and mentoring opportunities for student participants in such program; and (3) donating higher education scholarship funds for eligible students who have participated in such program. Sets forth requirements for program applications, guidelines, assessment, study, and report. Authorizes appropriations to NSF for such program. Limits the maximum amount of such a grant award to any eligible LEA.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Director, with the Secretary of Education, to compile and disseminate information on: (1) standard prerequisites for middle school and high school students who seek to enter a course of study at an institution of higher education in science, mathematics, engineering, or technology education for purposes of teaching in an elementary or secondary school; and (2) the licensing requirements in each State for science, mathematics, engineering, or technology elementary or secondary school teachers.

(Sec. 9) Requires the Director to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for NAS to compile and evaluate studies on the effectiveness of technology in the classroom on learning and student performance, as measured by State standardized tests. Authorizes appropriations to NSF for such study-evaluation.

(Sec. 10) Requires the Director to establish a grant program under which grants may be made for instruction of teachers for grades kindergarten through the 12th grade in the use of technology in the classroom.

(Sec. 11) Authorizes the Director to award grants to assist States in reaching the goal of making all middle school graduates technology-literate. Requires such grants to be used for teacher training in technology, with an emphasis on programs that prepare one or more teachers in each middle school in the State to become technology leaders who then serve as experts and train other teachers. Requires States to encourage schools that receive such assistance to provide matching funds.

(Sec. 12) Requires the Director to convene, as the National Science Education Forum, a conference of representatives from Federal, State, and local governments, private industries, professional organizations, educators, science, mathematics, engineering, and technology educational resource providers, students, and other stakeholders.

(Sec. 13) Authorizes the Director to make grants to SEAs or LEAs or private elementary, middle, or secondary schools, under any grant program administered by the Director using funds appropriated for the NSF for Education and Human Resources Activities, for activities in which distance learning is integrated into the education process in kindergarten through the 12th grade.

(Sec. 14) Requires the Director to make available through the Internet at no cost a complete field-test version of any curricular program for which the NSF provided development funds.

(Sec. 15) Directs the President, acting through the NSF, to provide scholarships to teachers at public and private schools in kindergarten through the 12th grade to participate in Federal, State, or private research programs. Requires the Director to establish an Internet web site which may be used by students and teachers participating in such program to incorporate research knowledge and techniques into the educational process.