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Summary and Recommendations

A lot of people out there think their kids are getting a good education, that they are getting everything they need. They badly need to be informed.—Robert Jentgens, Crane Naval Weapons Station

The last segment of this conference on the crisis in mathematics and science education in Indiana's elementary and secondary schools included a discussion by all of those participating in the conference on recommendations for a solution. All of the participants had a chance to voice their opinions on each recommendation, and after much discussion the following recommendations were agreed on. These recommendations have been organized into categories based on where initiatives for action would originate.

Recommendations for State Government
1. The State Department of Public Instruction should establish a policy that all high
school graduates will have studied mathematics and science for at least three years in
grades 9-12. Students preparing to attend college should be urged to study four years
of mathematics and science.
2. A program of "forgiveable" loans to college students preparing to teach mathematics
or science should be established.
3. The governor should establish a commission on precollege mathematics and Sci-
ence composed of representatives from each of the four sectors represented at the
conference
4. A policy should be implemented that will ensure that elementary and middle/junior
high school teachers are adequately prepared to teach mathematics and science.
5. State agencies should work with colleges and universities to identify ways to attract
women and minorities into mathematics and science careers.
6. The state should support in-service institutes (especially summer institutes) for the
continuing education of mathematics and science teachers. Such institutes should be
tunded jointly by support from state agencies and the private sector.
7. The state should begin a program to train retired persons with strong mathematics
and science backgrounds who might be interested in part-time mathematics or science
teaching
8. The state should establish statewide educational goals and public policies for
mathematics and science education, or at least support the development of an agenda
for action in attacking the problem

Recommendations for School Systems

1. Both mathematics and science should be taught to all students during every year in
grades K-8. School systems could hire mathematics and science consultants and
resource teachers for the elementary grades to facilitate this.
2. School systems should hire only qualified teachers to teach mathematics and
science in grades 6-12.
3. School systems should give priority in hiring teachers to applicants with relatively
strong mathematics and science backgrounds, particularly elementary school appli-
cants.
4. School systems should establish a policy of professional development incentives for
teachers in critical shortage areas.
5. School systems should require all students to study about computers to the extent
necessary to ensure computer literacy.

Recommendations for Colleges/Universities
1. College/university teacher educators should evaluate their mathematics and science
teacher education programs with the goal of determining how to make them more
attractive to prospective teachers and more relevant to the needs of practicing
teachers.
2. College/university faculty should be more willing to go to schools as resource
persons

3. Colleges/universities that have summer institutes for talented mathematics and
science students should hire selected high school teachers as adjunct faculty for these
institutes.
4. College/university mathematics and science educators should find more ways to
utilize computers as instructional devices in mathematics and science classrooms at all
levels. They should also establish workshops for developing computer literacy,
5. Colleges/universities should raise their entrance requirements in mathematics and
science
6. Colleges/universities should actively recruit women and minorities into mathematics
and science careers
7. Colleges/universities should develop adult education programs in mathematics,
science and computers,
8. College/university mathematics and science students should be encouraged to
volunteer as part-time teachers in schools where mathematics and science teachers
are needed. They should also serve as resource persons in elementary schools,

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Recommendations for the Private Sector

1. Businesses industries should provide part-time and summer employment for math-
ematics and science teachers.
2 Businesses/industries should assist state and local governments in providing low
interest loans to students who are preparing for teaching careers in mathematics and
science
3. Businesses/industries should use their facilities for the development and recognition
of teachers.
4. Businesses/industries should devise means to allow employees with strong mathe-
matics and science backgrounds to teach mathematics or science part time in schools.
5. Businesses industries should make available to schools and colleges information
about career opportunities in mathematics and science-related areas.
6. Businesses/industries should help support the training of retired persons with strong
mathematics and science backgrounds who might be interested in part-time mathemat-
ics or science teaching in the schools

General Recommendations

If a coach loses a star player, that's news. If a teacher loses an entire program ... that's too bad.-William Lumbley

1. The four sectors should work together to establish some consensus about the
mathematical and scientific knowledge all students should acquire, both for high school
graduation and college admission
2. There should be a cooperative effort among the four sectors to determine attractive
opportunities for continuing in-service education for mathematics and science
teachers
3. The four sectors should establish more mathematics and science teacher resource
centers around the state.
4. The tour sectors should work together to identify means for recognizing and reward-
ing outstanding performance both by teachers and students at every level.
5. All sectors should provide incentives to raise the prestige of mathematics and
science teaching as a profession.
6. Government agencies, schools and colleges/universities should cooperate to retrain
surplus teachers who have some aptitude, interest and background in mathematics or
science. This would help alleviate the shortage of mathematics and science teachers,
7. Action needs to be taken to convince the public that improvements are necessary,

It is hoped that action will soon be taken on these recommendations, and that the current crisis in mathematics and science education in Indiana's elementary and secondary schools will be solved. The most important resource our nation has is its youth, and we are jeopardizing our future by neglecting our next generation.

Senator STAFFORD. Thank you very much, Doctor. Your help is appreciated.

Mr. Brod, you are next on the list, and we would be glad to hear

from you.

Mr. BROD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Richard Brod. I represent the Joint National Committee for Languages, a coalition of 25 organizations for professionals in languages and international studies.

In our view, language study has two basic functions in American education. One is in general education to give students of all ages a basic groundwork in language and culture. The other is specialized skill training, thorough training in the language and culture for those individuals who need proficiency in order to perform their work or their public duties, or who simply desire it for the enrichment of their private lives.

All forecasts lead us to believe that the demand for training and language skills will continue the slow rise that has recently begun. Americans seem finally to be coming around to realizing that our national deficiency in language competence has weakened us economically and in other ways.

Interest in language study is growing, and its value is coming to be recognized both by our leaders and by the public at large.

May I say parenthetically that I am happy to be here during Foreign Language Week. The week began on Monday. President Reagan issued a proclamation from which I would like to quote a few words: "We cannot afford to be complacent,” he says, "about our position in the world community. Both our economy and our national security depend upon American competitiveness. We must be effective, not only in the development of high technology and telecommunications, but also in our ability to communicate in our own language, as well as the languages of other nations."

The two functions of language study, one general, one specialized, are different, but they are not incompatible. I am happy to say that there is good news on the front of language study in general education. After many years of what this morning was called permissiveness, colleges and universities have at last begun to restore the language requirements they abandoned 15 years ago.

Our most recent survey shows that 66 percent of them now have language requirements for the bachelor's degree, whereas about 5 years ago, the figure was only 54 percent. At the same time, our teaching profession has shown creativity in developing attractive and interesting new courses and in broadening the scope of curriculum in language and culture.

On the other hand, in specialized education and advanced research and training in language and area studies, the needs are growing; and it is clearly an area that the Federal Government must continue to address.

To quote a recently published statement on foreign language education by the Board of Regents of the State of New York: "Because foreign policy and international relations are the business of the Federal Government, this area almost uniquely is a clear province for Federal attention."

In the category of specialized education and advanced research and training in language and area studies, the Federal Government has made a major contribution through title VI of the Higher Education Act, originally known as the National Defense Education Act. These programs have a splendid track record, and in our opinion merit the continued recognition and support of the Congress.

Valuable as they are, however, they are also highly specialized and therefore limited in the number of people they can serve and in the kinds of institutions where they can be housed. To meet the growing economic, political, and cultural needs of our citizens for communicative skills in the use of foreign languages, programs of study in languages and cultures need to be made accessible to students of all ages in as many communities as possible. Incentives need to be found to encourage schools, colleges, and universities to invest their own resources into setting up programs in a variety of languages.

Incentives need to be found to encourage students, both in high school and in postsecondary education, to make the kind of commitment necessary for success, and above all, ways need to be found to insure an adequate supply of skilled teachers to meet anticipated needs and to retrain, refresh, and reequip experienced teachers to meet a growing demand.

Like the study of science, language study requires a considerable investment of time and effort. Like science teachers, teachers of foreign languages can easily grow rusty in their skills and have a legitimate need for refresher training at regular intervals.

As part of our own effort to build language competence in the Nation, leaders of our profession have recently embarked on a major effort to reach consensus on precise definitions of the stages of achievement in language study, ranging from novice level to survival skills, to the level of proficiency necessary for performing one's job.

The achievement of consensus in these definitions will not only help us become more accountable to our public, it will also enable us to shift the basis of educational measurement in our field from credit hours, that is, seat time, to proficiency. In other words, we will be able to certify what our students can do with a language, not merely how much time they have spent in the classroom. We are working on this, and the imminent, we hope, achievement of these definitions will, we think, usher in a quiet revolution in the teaching, study, and appreciation of foreign languages in the United States.

We believe that this particular change is in the national interest of the United States and that the kind of support and vision offered by such bills as S. 530 and H.R. 1310 will help us in accomplishing this goal.

I can assure the committee that our profession in turn is eager to make its contribution to helping the Nation prepare for the 21st century.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Brod follows:)

STATEMENT PRESENTED TO THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, ARTS & HUMANITIES

U.S. SENATE

March 9, 1983

Presented by:

Richard Brod
Director, Foreign Language

Programs/Modern Language
Association

Secretary-Treasurer, Joint

National Committee for
Languages

For Further Information Contact:

J. David Edwards, Director
Tele: 202/483-7200

THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN, AND MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE,

FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO REPRESENT THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION

AND THE JOINT NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR LANGUAGES IN ADDRESSING

THE ROLE AND IMPORTANCE OF SECOND LANGUAGES TO OUR EDUCATIONAL

SYSTEM AND OUR NATION.

THE JOINT NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR

LANGUAGES IS AN ORGANIZATION THAT REPRESENTS TWENTY-FIVE OF THIS

NATION'S MAJOR LANGUAGE ASSOCIATIONS.

JNCL REPRESENTS THE

INTERESTS OF OVER 200,000 PROFESSIONALS WITH EXPERTISE IN ALL

AREAS OF THE LANGUAGE FIELD INCLUDING THE LESS COMMONLY TAUGHT

LANGUAGES, THE CLASSICS, TRANSLATION, ENGLISH AS A SECOND

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TO EXPRESS OUR SINCERE CONCERN THAT LEGISLATION SUCH AS S. 530

IS NECESSARY AND TO STATE AGAIN OUR FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF IN

LANGUAGE STUDY AS ESSENTIAL TO THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND

INTELLECTUAL SECURITY OF OUR NATION.

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