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Federal Research Environment for STEM Education A Presentation to UC Riverside Michael Ledford, Kaitlin Chell, and Karen Mowrer Lewis-Burke Associates,

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Presentation on theme: "Federal Research Environment for STEM Education A Presentation to UC Riverside Michael Ledford, Kaitlin Chell, and Karen Mowrer Lewis-Burke Associates,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal Research Environment for STEM Education A Presentation to UC Riverside Michael Ledford, Kaitlin Chell, and Karen Mowrer Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC January 2014

2 Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC is a leading full-service government relations firm specializing in advocating for the public policy interests of institutions of higher education and other research and education organizations Began working with UC Riverside in November professional staff members 26 clients, all nonprofits involved in research and/or education –15 universities –3 contractors running national research facilities –8 associations Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC 2

3 STEM Education Priorities Undergraduate education remains a priority –Focus on first two years of college and STEM major retention –Promotion of early research experiences –Efforts to implement best practices from education research – NSF WIDER –Joint NSF/DoED K-16 Math Initiative Obama Administration continues to encourage efforts by outside groups –Change the Equation, AAU Undergraduate Initiative, etc. Budget request proposes consolidation of many federal STEM programs into new initiatives at Department of Education (K-12), NSF (undergraduate and graduate), and Smithsonian (informal) 3

4 STEM Education Consolidation Budget request proposes consolidation of many federal STEM programs into new initiatives at Department of Education (K-12), NSF (undergraduate and graduate), and Smithsonian (informal). –For K-12 and informal, funding shifted to prioritize dissemination and state level education innovations – STEM Innovation Networks –Biggest consolidations at NASA, DOD, and NIH; NSF EHR programs protected –Broadening Participation programs protected Congressional effort to block the creation of new initiatives and prevent some consolidations –Fragmented appropriations process means no uniform action on consolidation –Funding unlikely to be provided for new and expanded programs at Smithsonian, DoED, and NSF, but agencies likely to create smaller pilots for their initiatives –Not all existing programs will be saved –House version of COMPETES prohibits consolidation 4

5 National Science Foundation EHR interested in promoting core research and partnerships to enhance dissemination of results and best practices New NSF leadership may mean shift in priorities Rethinking CAREER Continued Engagement with Major Crosscutting Initiatives (Big Data, Sustainability, Neuroscience) Improving Undergraduate STEM Ed (IUSE) –Call for proposals related to Ideas Labs in three areas: GEO, ENG, and BIO –Dear Colleague Letters coming soon to provide more guidance 5

6 Graduate Education New thinking on graduate education throughout federal agencies; Graduate Education Modernization interagency group formed General themes: Preparation for alternate careers Diversity Interdisciplinary skills NIH has new Biomedical Research Workforce and Diversity Initiatives NSF in rethinking stage this year – Proposed expansion of GRF to serve mission agency needs; increased focus on national priorities (IGERT to NRT); potential for additional changes and new models DOD contemplating minimum of one summer of service at DOD lab to obtain federal support Proposed consolidation across agencies leaves several smaller mission agency programs in doubt (EPA STAR, DOE Computational Science Fellowships) Industrial and international experience Ability to address social issues Sustainability/retention 6

7 Ongoing Agency Interests Ongoing support for fellowships across the federal government BD2K initiative includes training component; available in near future 7 NOAA Sea Grant Fellowship NIST Measurement Science & Engineering Fellowship DOD Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship DoED Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship DOE Graduate Fellowship Program; Computational Science Graduate Fellowship NIH NRSA Predoctoral Fellows CDC Emerging Infectious Disease Fellowship SAMSA Minority Fellowship Program EPA STAR Fellowship NASA Space Tech Research Fellowship; Space Grant Fellowship; Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program USDA NIFA Fellowship Grant Program; National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship DOT Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship

8 Looking Ahead Universities have to adjust to changing science bureaucracy in a flat budget environment R&D and basic research still a TOP priority on both sides of the aisle in Congress, but there is competition for limited dollars –STEM consolidation proposal was not popular with Congress or the scientific community; FY 2015 budget request will be interesting –NSF open to experiments related to STEM training During this time of transition – discussions with thought leaders within agencies and at OMB essential Advisory committees still key to determining and influencing agency policy and research directions 8

9 Education Research Push by IES to get research into the hands of practitioners and local schools. Emerging foci – Research-Practitioner Partnerships; Researcher and Policymaker Training; evaluation of programs (RttT); statewide longitudinal data systems and how to use them. White House continues to propose ARPA-ED, but wouldnt be housed in IES. Focus on funding to address specific identified problems in education (e.g. digital tutors as effective personal tutors; courses that improve as more students use them; educational software as compelling as video games). Investing in Innovation (i3) and Race to the Top (RttT) will continue for the rest of the Obama Administration. –LEA must lead or be a close partner. –Focus of i3 and RttT on Administration policy priorities – STEM, Early Learning, Higher Education/ College Cost/ Completion. –Requires a substantial cost share. 9

10 Education Legislation Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) All major education reauthorization bills are outstanding- IDEA, WIA, ESEA, HEA and IES, but focus has been on ESEA because HELP Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) is determined to pass a bill before he retires in House passed Student Success Act (Republican version of ESEA) in July, unlikely to pass the Senate because of dilution of federal role, changes to accountability standards. Senator Harkin has moved Strengthening Americas Schools Act out of committee, unclear about floor actions. No Republican support for the bill in the Committee. Senate bill would tie Title I funding to requirements made through the NCLB waiver process- college/ career ready assessment requirements; strengthen statewide longitudinal data systems; and produce annual reports on effective teachers. 10

11 Education Legislation (cont.) Title II- Teacher and Principal Training Focus on teacher training and new models, i.e. Teach for America (TFA) and teaching academies. GREAT Act, introduced by Senator Bennet (D-CO), would allow new academies the ability to award certificates, the equivalent of a Masters within the state. Title II proposals would redefine highly-qualified teacher and allow for TFA institutions to apply for Title II funding. Push to track teachers and teacher assessment back to Colleges of Education. 11

12 Education Legislation (cont.) Higher Education Act (HEA) Reauthorization Congress and Administration preparing for HEA reauthorization, although process will likely take several years. House Committee on Education and Workforce has started holding hearings (accreditation, regulatory reform, college cost) and put out a call for comments. Senate expected to put out a call for comments in the fall. Foundations release white papers on college cost, rethinking financial aid, transparency, and student outcomes. All likely to be touched on in reauthorization. President Obama has called out accreditation and college costs in recent speeches, new proposal of a ranking system for colleges based on cost and value, tied to additional federal financial aid. Concerns about fraud and abuse of Title IV federal student aid funds and Veterans/ Military benefits at for-profit institutions of higher education. Department may try to accomplish some of the Presidents goals through the negotiated rulemaking process. 12

13 Contact Kaitlin Chell Lewis-Burke Associates LLC 1341 G Street, NW Eighth Floor Washington, D.C e: p: f:


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