Making the Most of ESSA: Opportunities to Advance STEM Education
A Review of ESSA Plans for Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Client: Overdeck Family Foundation

High-quality STEM education is necessary to grow our economy, meet workforce needs and inspire young minds; ESSA provides an opportunity for states to drive their STEM education forward. The report is grounded in our analysis of STEM in all 17 submitted ESSA plans and eight draft plans. Of those 25 plans, we found that states focused on four STEM-related policies:

  • Including state science assessment results in accountability systems
  • Including career- and technical-education indicators in accountability systems
  • Including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate indicators in accountability systems
  • Requiring or encouraging STEM elements in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants

Through extensive research and interviews with national STEM experts, the report recommended best practices for states so they can implement each of these policies to advance high-quality STEM education while promoting equity. We hope that it will help states to take advantage of the opportunities ESSA provides for STEM education. We also hope the report gives advocates and funders ideas on what to push as ESSA planning turns into ESSA implementation.

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