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Also, twenty-seven State universities have recently increased entrance
requirements or have study commissions reviewing admissions standards, and
most of these requirements are in science and mathematice. For each
additional course required of high school students, we will need tens of
thousands of additional teachers.
Yet we do not have enough science and
math teachers to meet even today's demands.
During the next two days you will be receiving detailed testimony on
different aspects of science and mathematics education, so I don't think
1t 18 necessary for me to describe the situation at greater length,
Clearly, the problems are important ones.
America 18 still the technological
leader of the
rld, but as the President observed in his State of the
Union address, We must keep that edge, and to do so we need to begin
renewing the basice, starting with our educational system."
In response to these problems, dozens of bills were introduced in the
last session of Congress related to science and mathematics education.
Early in this session of the 98 th Congress Senator Domenici introduced s. 248,
the "National Mathematics and Science Excellence in Education Act of 1983."
Senator Pell, Senator Stafford, and others have introduced s. 530, the
*Education for Economic Security Act." H.R. 1310 was passed last week and
has been sent to the Senate for consideration.
Chairman Hatch, you have
introduced the Administration's bill, s. 706, the "Science and Mathematics
Teacher Development Act." I am pleased that so much interest has been
expressed in this important area early in the session, and that your Comittee, through these hearings, 18 focusing the attention of the Congress
on the needs in science and mathematics education.
What is most urgent, in our view, 18 the necessity to forge an effective
partnership with States, local education authorities, and private industry,
so that each can do its part of the job.
The Federal role must be a limited
one -- and not only in financial terms.
It 18 States and localities which set graduation requirements from high
school -- not the Federal government. I feel strongly that these require
ments need to be raised in many districts if America is to maintain its
technological edge. I applaud the efforts of superintendents, principals,
school board members, and others who have recognized this early on and
have set a standard others would be well advised to follow.
It is local school officials
not the Federal government -- who
establish teacher salaries. Data collected by the Department's National
Center for Education Statistics show that the average teacher salary, in
constant dollars, fell considerably during the 1970s. Now this 18 a
problem for education as a whole, but it is especially a problem in math
and science because business and industry offer technically trained people
So much more money than education offers.
Furthermore, it is leaders from business and industry - not the
who ought to be the first offering assistance to those
educators who want to understand our rapidly changing world of work, in order to implement relevant educational programs based on that knowledge.
It is in this context that the Congress 18 considering new legislation.
The Administration's bil1 focuses on what I believe 18 the most critical
element of the problem
the growing shortage of qualified science and
mathematics teachers at the secondary level in grades nine through twelve. In brief, the program would work as follows. Funds will be allocated io
the States by formula to be used for scholarships for individuals not currently qualified to teach science or mathematics. Up to $5000 may be
used for each scholarship. Eligible individuals must already hold a
bachelor's degree, and must be able to become qualified to teach science or mathematics within one year. Prime candidates for these scholarships include teachers currently qualified in fields other than science or mathematics, and individuals with college degrees and interest and aptitude
to teach high school math and science, but who need the academic preparation
to do 80.
It is our intention to assist a large number of such individuals,
and train them quickly. Our schools need these qualified teachers boon.
That 18 why we would like to limit participation to individuals who are not
now training to teach mathematics or science and who can qualify withia
In addition to the Department's initiative, the National Science
Foundation 18 proposing to support activities in pre-college science and
mathematics education. It is my understanding that the Senate Appropriations
Committee 18 working with the National Science Foundation to develop an
acceptable plan for use of fiscal year 1983 funds in science and mathematics
The proposed activities which I have described reflect this Adatni
stration's belief that there 18 an appropriate Federal role in science and
Even with the budget restrictions under which we
must labor in today's economy, we consider this problem of sufficient magnitude to justify an expenditure which we hope will be assisted by
funds from State, local, and private sources.
But the Federal government cannot shoulder the entire burden.
of our economic situation, we should be particularly careful not to enact new
legislation which is excessively costly.
Nor can we in Washington mandate
solutions for States and localities, and so we must not pass new legislation
which 18 overly complex and prescriptive.
In conclusion, I would urge you to concentrate on the most urgent
problem. That problem 18 the critical teacher supply situation in these
Let's target our limited dollars there so we will get a maximum
And let's look for results as quickly as possible. We must lacrease
our pool of qualified teachers. Only with additional qualified teachers in
mathematics and science can school boards raise local graduation require
rents and enable the Nation to maintain its technological edge.
Mr. Chaimen, for this opportunity to express my views to
Senator STAFFORD. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. I do have a couple of questions. Before I begin them, though, I am very happy that Senator Denton, a valued member of the committee has joined us this morning.
Senator Denton, do you have any opening statement you wish to make?
Senator DENTON. No, Mr. Chairman. I want to acknowledge your expertise, leadership, and initiative in this area, and greet my friend Secretary Bell, whom I have admired for quite some time. I am just developing the understanding that yours and his initiative would be a good bit broader than the rather, I would say, hastily contrived, but well intended administration bill. Is that generally an accurate statement?
Senator STAFFORD. Well, the Chair is not prepared to characterize any of the bills in front of the committee thus far. And the Chair would say to Secretary Bell that Senator Pell and I intend to work out a chart showing the salient features of all of the bills that have been placed in front of us and what they cost. And then we hope to work out from that as a basis what we would recommend to this subcommittee and eventually to the full committee, if the subcommittee agrees, as a bill to strengthen mathematics, science, and languages.
Senator DENTON. If the gentleman would yield, the question addressed whether or not the Secretary did not support your broader based bill. Would you mind my asking him that?
Senator STAFFORD. Well, I would prefer to get the questions in order, but I will certainly allow that one because I expect the Secretary, as a good secretary, is supporting the administration.
Senator DENTON. I have a Veterans Administration meeting; that is the reason I appreciate the privilege of asking questions because I am going to have to leave
Secretary BELL. We feel that the bill that you were referring to, Senator Denton, ought to concentrate more of its resources on the retraining of teachers who are not now teaching in mathematics and science areas, but that we think could be prepared to do so within a shorter time, if we would concentrate our funds in that area.
Secretary DENTON. All right. Thank you. I did not mean to interrupt, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for that opportunity.
Senator STAFFORD. Thank you very much, Senator.
Senator Kennedy, we are very pleased you are here this morning
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; if you would be good enough to include my opening statement at an appropriate place in the record, as if read, I would appreciate it.
Senator STAFFORD. The subcommittee certainly will do that, immediately after those of Senator Pell, Senator Hatch, and myself.
Senator KENNEDY. Fine. And I apologize to Secretary Bell for not being here during his presentation and welcome him back. I think the last time he was here I said this will probably be the last time he would be before the committee, but we are particularly fortunate to have him back.
Welcome. I hope you keep coming back.
Secretary BELL. Thank you, Senator, and I am pleased to be here, and it is a pleasure to appear before you.
Senator KENNEDY. Are we into the question period?
Senator STAFFORD. I was just about to start them and stay on a 5minute rotation basis, if that is agreeable.
Senator KENNEDY. That is fine.
Senator STAFFORD. Being from New England, I always try to be short winded on these things. (Laughter.)
Mr. Secretary, in thinking about the bill that Senator Pell and I have introduced and some of the others that were described yesterday and are in front of the committee, my first question involves what I perceive to be a weakness in my own bill.
And that if we are successful in creating a substantial increase in the number of teachers for science, mathematics, and languages, how do we keep them in those teaching posts after we have succeeded in producing them? That seems to be a worry that has occurred to me.
Secretary Bell. That is a very critical question, and as I respond to that, I think I will provide some opportunities for my colleagues from NEA and AFT to respond.
I feel that our approach to compensating teachers needs to be modified by school boards. I have been urging that we have a good basic structure with a single salary schedule, but that we ought to be providing opportunities for teachers to gain distinction and recognition beyond that. I think until we do that, we are not going to be able to cope with the problem of attrition for teachers.
Now, I would readily emphasize that the basic salary schedule is too low, but whatever the level is, I think on top of that we ought to have some flexibility that can help to cope with this problem. Until we have that, until we have some changes in the way that we approach this problem, I think are going to continue to have this erosion of teacher supply.
I am aware of the difficulties and the problems that can be created if you start building into the salary structure that certain persons teaching in certain subject matter areas get more compensation. But for the 5 years I had before I came to this job, I was commissioner of higher education with a statewide higher education system. And we found it necessary to pay engineering professors