The Phase III Report Of
The U.S.Commission On
National Security/21st Century
Part 2

II. Recapitalizing America's Strengths in Science and Education
The scale and nature of the ongoing revolution in science and technology, and what this implies for the quality of human capital in the 21st century, pose critical national security challenges for the United States. Second only to a weapon of mass destruction detonating in an American city, we can think of nothing more dangerous than a failure to manage properly science, technology, and education for the common good over the next quarter century.
Current institutional arrangements have served the nation well over the past five decades, but the world is changing. Today, private proprietary expenditure on technology development far outdistances public spending. The internationalization of both scientific research and its commercial development is having a significant effect on the capacity of the U.S. government to harness science in the service of national security and to attract qualified scientific and technical personnel. These changes are transforming most facets of the American economy, from health care to banking to retail business, as well as the defense industrial base.
The harsh fact is that the U.S. need for the highest quality human capital in science, mathematics, and engineering is not being met. One reason for this is clear: American students know that professional careers in basic science and mathematics require considerable preparation and effort, while salaries are often more lucrative in areas requiring less demanding training. Non-U.S. nationals, however, do find these professions attractive and, thanks to science, math, and technical preparation superior to that of many Americans, they increasingly fill American university graduate studies seats and job slots in these areas. Another reason for the growing deficit in high-quality human capital is that the American kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) education system is not performing as well as it should. As a result too few American students are qualified to take these slots, even if they are so inclined.
This is an ironic predicament, since America's strength has always been tied to the spirit and entrepreneurial energies of its people. America remains today the model of creativity and experimentation, and its success has inspired other nations to recognize the true sources of power and wealth in science, technology, and higher education. America's international reputation, and therefore a significant aspect of its global influence, depends on its reputation for excellence in these areas. U.S. performance is not keeping up with its reputation. Other countries are striving hard, and with discipline they will outstrip us.
This is not a matter merely of national pride or international image. It is an issue of the utmost importance to national security. In a knowledge-based future, only an America that remains at the cutting edge of science and technology will sustain its current world leadership. In such a future, only a well-trained and educated population can thrive economically, and from national prosperity provide the foundation for national cohesion. Complacency with our current achievement of national wealth and international power will put all of this at risk.
Many nations in the world have the intellectual assets to compete with those of the United States. However, as many leaders abroad recognize, their social, political, and economic systems often prevent them from capitalizing on these intellectual assets. The creative release of individual energies for the public good is not possible without a political, social, and economic system that frees talent and nurtures innovation.*23
We have before us the negative example of the former Soviet Union. Its state scientific establishment was the largest in the world and very talented, yet the attitudes and institutions required to nurture and disseminate innovation in a broad sense were missing, and it never fulfilled its potential. Today, many national leaders around the world are determined not to repeat the Soviet failure. They are studying the American business and innovation environment in hopes of extracting its secrets. Lessons are being learned and adopted throughout the world. As a result, global competition is growing significantly and will continue to do so . Meanwhile, however, many critical changes are occurring within the United States:
· While basic research remains primarily a government-funded activity, private and proprietary technology development in the United States is increasing relatively and absolutely compared to that of the government.
· The internationalization of basic science and technology (S&T) activities, assets, and capabilities is accelerating, and current U.S. advantages in many critical fields are shrinking and may be eclipsed in the years ahead.
· New classes of defense-relevant technologies are developing in which the major U.S. defense companies and national labs have scant experience. There are far fewer institutional linkages between government scientists and those innovative businesses generating and adapting cutting-edge technologies (e.g., genetic engineering, materials science, nanotechnology, and robotics).
During the 1980s, America recognized the need to change business models that had roots in the Industrial Age. It embarked on an era of deregulation and experimentation, one that has led to the networked economy that is still taking shape today. While U.S. reform at the microeconomic level has been primarily an achievement of the private sector, government has played an important role. It is also clear the government and the private sector will have to continue to work in concert to fill many critical needs, e.g., telecommunication and cyber-infrastructure policies; information assurance and protection; and policies to preserve the defense industrial base. This nation must increase its public research and development budget in order to remain a world leader. But opportunity and resources will not come together by themselves. Wise public policies enhance creative investment and promote intense experimentation.
In particular, we need to fund more basic research and technology development. As is clear to all, private sector R&D investments in the United States have increased vastly in recent years. That is good, but private R&D tends to be more development-oriented than research- oriented. It is from investment in basic science, however, that the most valuable long-run dividends are realized. The government has a critical role to play in this regard, as the "spinoff" achievements of the space program over the years illustrate. That role remains, not least because our basic and applied research efforts in areas of critical national interest will not be pursued by a civil sector that emphasizes short- to mid-term return on investment.
If the United States does not invest significantly more in public research and development, it will be eclipsed by others. Recent failures in this regard may return to haunt us. The decision not to invest in a large nuclear accelerator, the Superconducting Super Collider, already means that the most significant breakthroughs in theoretical physics at least over the next decade will occur in Europe and not in the United States. The reduction of U.S. research and development in basic electronics engineering has ensured that the next generation of chip processors and manufacturing technology will come from an international consortium (U.S.- German-Dutch) rather than from the United States alone.
We must not let such examples proliferate in the future, nor should we squander the enormous opportunities before us. We stand on the cusp of major discoveries in several interlocking fields, and we stand to benefit, as well, from major strides in scientific instrumentation. As a result, the way is clear to design large-scale scientific and technological experiments in key fields-not unlike the effort of the International Geophysical Year in 1958, the early space program, or the project to decode the human genome. In the judgment of this Commission, the U.S. government has not taken a broad, systematic approach to investing in science and technology R&D, and thus will not be able to sustain projects of such scale and boldness. We therefore recommend the following:
· 8: The President should propose, and the Congress should support, doubling the U.S. government's investment in science and technology research and development by 2010.
Building up an adequate level of effort for major, long-term research for the public good will require an increased investment on the order of 100 percent over the next eight years. In other words, a government-wide R&D budget of about $160 billion by fiscal year 2010 would be prudent and appropriate.
It would not be wise to combine the government's science and technology capabilities into a single agency, as some have suggested doing, or to entirely centralize the government's research and development budget. But we do need to infuse within the U.S. national R&D program a sense of responsible stewardship and vision. The government has to better coordinate its own public research and development efforts among the more than two dozen government departments and agencies that play major roles in the field.*24
The coordinating body for that purpose, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), houses within it the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
The White House OSTP has three main functions: to help design the public R&D budget in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); to facilitate interagency efforts involving science and technology and research and development; and to win support for the administration's science and technology initiatives in Congress.
The National Science and Technology Council, which includes virtually every cabinet official and Executive Branch agency head, has a committee structure designed to facilitate interagency cooperation. Committees are headed by OSTP personnel, but the participants from other departments and agencies have other, usually more pressing duties. Hence, with the exception of their chairmen, NSTC committees are populated by part-timers.
The President may also use the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), composed of non-governmental experts, to help him decide science and technology policy. Its use, as with the use of the NSTC, is largely dependent on the interests and inclinations of the President. The relationships among the OSTP, the NSTC, and the PCAST vary from administration to administration.*25
While these coordinating and advisory bodies do exist, they are inadequately staffed, funded, and utilized to carry out their significant functions. The current OSTP is not small by White House standards, but it will increasingly be unable to keep up with its mandate as science and technology issues become more important to the national welfare. The NSTC permanent administrative staff is too small to support its committee work, and it has no permanent science and technology professional staff at all. The NSTC itself meets relatively rarely and only episodically takes on specific subjects of interest e.g., more fuel-efficient automobiles or nanotechnology research.
One main reason to improve these organizations, in this Commission's view, is to enable the Executive Branch to strengthen its grip on the R&D process. Three changes are required:
· The R&D budget has to be rationalized, and in order to do that a much better effort at physical and human/intellectual inventory stewardship is required.
· Those organizations responsible for rationalizing and managing the R&D process should more systematically review and redesign, as necessary, the science and technology personnel profile of Executive Branch agencies.
· The R&D budget has to be allocated through a more creative and competitive process than is the case today. We take these issues in turn.

The ability of the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy, together with OMB and other relevant agencies, to rationalize R&D investment presupposes the ability to identify the best, generative opportunities for the investment of government R&D monies. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Rationalizing the way that public R&D money is spent must include better accounting of both human and physical capital. It is not possible to spend $80 billion wisely each year, let alone twice that much, unless we know where research bottlenecks and opportunities exist. There is no one place in the U.S. government where such inventory stewardship is performed. Rather, elements are dispersed in the National Science Foundation, in the Commerce Department (the Patent and Trademark Office, the National Technical Information Service, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology), in the Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and in parts of the intelligence community. We believe that collating and analyzing this information in one place, and using the conclusions of that analysis to inform the R&D budget process, is the sine qua non of a more effective public R&D effort.
Moreover, without such a basic inventory of the nation's science and technology "property," the United States could lose critical knowledge-based assets to competitors and adversaries without ever knowing it, and without understanding the implications of their loss. In an age when private, proprietary technology development outpaces publicly-funded R&D, and when most basic science information cannot reliably be kept secret, high-end science and technology espionage is a growth industry in which both foreign corporations and governments participate. The United States therefore needs to take seriously the protection of such assets to the extent possible and practical-but it cannot protect what it cannot even identify.*26
To achieve effective inventory stewardship for science and technology, we recommend that OSTP, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation-and with the counsel of the National Academies of Science*27 -design a system for the ongoing basic inventory stewardship of the nation's capital knowledge assets. The job of inventory stewardship could be vouchsafed to the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation, were it to be provided staff for this purpose.
In addition, this Commission urges a more systematic effort at functional budgeting for R&D so that we know how we are spending the public's money in this area. More effective R&D portfolio management for research is needed with emphasis on critical R&D areas and those of high potential long-term benefit. We therefore recommend the following:
· 9: The President should empower his Science Advisor to establish non-military R&D objectives that meet changing national needs, and to be responsible for coordinating budget development within the relevant departments and agencies.
This budget, we believe, should emphasize research over development, and it should aim at large- scale experimental projects that can make best use of new synergies between theoretical advances and progress in scientific instrumentation.
We also believe that the President, in tandem with strengthening the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, should raise the profile of its head-the Science Advisor to the President. The Science Advisor needs to be empowered as a more significant figure within the government, and we believe the budget function we have recommended for him will be instrumental for this purpose.
There is yet another task that a strengthened OSTP should adopt. As things stand today, more than two dozen U.S. government agencies have science and technology responsibilities, meaning that they have personnel slots for science and engineering professionals and budget categories to support what those professionals do. (Of the several thousand such personnel in government, some 80 of these slots are for senior scientists and engineers who must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.)
Despite the significant numbers of science and technology (S&T) personnel and their obvious criticality, there is no place in the U.S. government where S&T personnel assets as a whole are assessed against changing needs. In the past two decades, the Congressional Research Service, the General Accounting Office, and the now-defunct Office of Technology Assessment have all explored this issue. The Office of Management and Budget, too, has looked regularly at individual departments and agencies, but not at the government's S&T personnel structure as such. It appears, then, that no one above the departmental level examines the appropriateness of the fit between missions and personnel in this area as a whole.
Dealing with government S&T personnel issues in a disaggregated manner is no longer adequate. It is hard for senior department and agency managers-and for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the OMB staff-who are themselves not scientists or engineers, to know if they are operating with the right numbers and kinds of science and technology professionals. Hence, the Commission recommends that the President, with aid from his Science Advisor directing NSF's National Science Board, should reassess and realign, as necessary, government needs for science and technology personnel for the next quarter century.
Indeed, such a review ought to be made routine. The Science Advisor with the National Science Board and OPM, in consultation with the National Academies of Science, should periodically reevaluate Executive Branch needs for science and technology personnel. They should also suggest means to ensure the recruitment and retention of the highest quality scientists, engineers, and technologists for government service-a general subject we have noted above, and to which we return below in Section IV in the context of recommendation 42.
At present, as we have said, the U.S. government spends more than $80 billion each year in publicly funded R&D, of which about half is defense related. Much of the budgeting, however, still reflects legacies of the Cold War and the industrial age. We do not suggest that this money is being wasted in any direct sense, but its benefits are not being maximized. For example, we believe that defense-related R&D should go back to funding more basic research, for in recent years it has tilted too much toward the "D" over the "R" in R&D.*28
More important, we could derive more benefit from our investment in non-defense R&D if the context for it were a more competitive one. The Commission holds competition to be an important ingredient for the creative use of new ideas. Though we believe centralization of budget development is unnecessary, tailoring the various R&D budgets to meet overall national objectives would be beneficial. Different organizations address different needs and bring different perspectives, as do those working in different scientific disciplines. We therefore recommend that the President's Science Advisor, beyond his proposed budget coordination role, should lead an effort to revise government R&D practices and budget allocations to make the process more competitive.
One barrier to a more competitive, opportunity-based environment for R&D is institutional inertia. The current structure of public R&D funding is partly a result of inherited arrangements. We do not suggest disrupting important relationships between particular government agencies and, say, the Lincoln Laboratory at M.I.T., for the turbulence created would not be worth the advantages. But if innovation is to be encouraged, we need greater competition for government R&D funds. Hence, we propose that the government foster a "creative market" for a greater number of research institutions to bid on government research funds.
To create a more competitive market means narrowing the gap between the two tiers of research institutions that currently exist: the relatively small number of high-prestige major schools with ample endowments, and the larger number of less capable institutions. There are several ways to do this. One is through direct federal investment in or subsidization of second-tier institutions. Another is to encourage second-tier institutions to concentrate effort on new fields of inquiry in which older, more established institutions do not have comparative advantages. We see no reason, as well, to prevent amateurs from competing, because the history of science and technology is laden with the genius of the professionally uninitiated.
In addition, we recommend that a strengthened and more active National Science and Technology Council preside over an on-going effort to multiply creative, targeted R&D programs within government. The Council's enlarged professional staff should identify areas of priority research that the private sector is unlikely to pursue, and challenge those government agencies with R&D capabilities to form coalitions to bid on R&D monies set aside for such purposes. To meet such challenges, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency might combine talents, in league with their associates outside of government, to bid against a Department of Energy-NSF team. The national laboratory system should also be involved in such competitions-a topic to which we now turn.
The U.S. national laboratory system is badly in need of redefinition and new investment. The national laboratories, though vestiges of the Cold War, remain a national R&D treasure. Unfortunately, they are a treasure in danger of being squandered.
Without any compelling force analogous to that of the Cold War to drive government funding and the direction of R&D, the labs have been left to drift. Nuclear research has given way mostly to maintenance of the nation's nuclear arsenal and efforts to dismantle nuclear weapons and manage their radioactive wastes. But however important, these are tasks that a single major laboratory can handle. Many of the other large and small laboratories within the system no longer have the sense of purpose and shared vision that drove the tremendous scientific accomplishments that advanced national security during the Cold War.
Compounding the labs' identity problem is the fact that the highest rewards and most interesting scientific and technical work now take place in the private sector. The Commission found broad consensus that the labs are no longer competitive in attracting and keeping new scientific talent. The physical circumstances in which lab professionals work have also deteriorated, in many instances, to unacceptable levels.*29 The security breaches and the subsequent series of investigations in recent years have produced a serious morale problem-and made recruitment and retention problems even more acute. If this cycle is not broken, our national advantage in S&T will suffer further.
The labs remain critical in fulfilling America's S&T national security needs and in addressing S&T issues pertinent to the public good. Each major laboratory needs a clearly defined mission area-in long-term defense technology, energy, environmental, or some other kind of practical research. The smaller labs, among the several hundred that exist, need to be better connected to one another so that their staffs share a sense of common purpose; in some cases, smaller labs may benefit from consolidation. The Commission therefore recommends the following:
· 10: The President should propose, and the Congress should fund, the reorganization of the national laboratories, providing individual laboratories with new mission goals that minimize overlap. The President's Science Advisor, aided and advised by the OSTP, the NSTC, the PCAST, and the National Academy of Science, should lead this effort. For example, one lab could focus on nuclear weapons maintenance, while others could specialize in such fields as energy and environmental research, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Whatever goals are determined, more resources are clearly needed to ensure that the national laboratories remain world class research institutions, with facilities, resources, and salaries to fulfill their missions.
Finally, the potential for good and ill stemming from many of the recent developments in the scientific and technical domain is at least as great, if not greater, than that of atomic energy in 1945-46. As this Commission stressed in its Phase I report, new scientific discovery and innovation in information technologies, nanotechnology, and biotechnologies will have a major impact on social, economic, and political life in the United States and elsewhere.
It is not in the public or the national interest to allow these impacts to be determined exclusively by the private sector. The United States prides itself on having a system of government that does not smother or try to shape the social or moral life of the nation. But we have always granted government a role in managing science and technology under special or extreme circumstances-as for example in the creation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission after World War II. As was the case then, a public-trust institution is needed to gather knowledge and to develop informed judgment as the basis for public policy. We especially need a permanent framework that brings public sector, private sector, and higher education together to examine the implications of today's technological revolution.
Now as then, there is a pointed national security dimension to this requirement. As was the case in the late 1940s, if the United States does not maintain leadership in this area, the country will decline in its ability to protect itself from those countries that do.
At present, there is a National Bioethics Advisory Commission to study the moral implications of bioscience. This Commission is composed of distinguished and committed members. But the composition of that Commission is narrow, consisting only of bioethicists. It meets only episodically, operates on a small budget, has no permanent professional staff aside from its executive director, works on a limited mandate, and is soon scheduled to go out of existence. In practice, this Commission cannot influence or communicate as an equal with the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, or other government bodies that play major roles in monitoring and regulating the products of bioscience. Nor can it spend time anticipating issues when its meetings and reports are consumed almost entirely with responding to concerns that have already been raised. In short, the vehicle we now have to deal with the social, ethical, and public safety dimensions of biotechnology is inadequate for the task.
We need an institution that provides a forum for the articulation of all interests in the implications of new biotechnology and other new technologies. Without such a forum, it is doubtful whether public confidence in the progression of bioscience can be sustained amid all the controversies it will surely provoke over the next 25 years. We need a place where government officials, scholars, theologians, and corporate executives can meet regularly to discuss issues of concern. We need an institution that can deal effectively with the other governmental agencies regularly involved in these issues; otherwise its findings will remain peripheral to the actual processes of decision. We therefore recommend that Congress transform the current National Bioethics Advisory Commission into a much strengthened National Advisory Commission on Bioscience (NACB).
The NACB should focus on the intersection between bioscience, information science, and nanotechnology for, as we have said, it is this intersection that will form the pivot of major transformation. Such change will affect a wide range of public policy issues, including health, social security, privacy, and education. Nor should the commission's mandate be limited to ethical questions. It should concern itself, as well, with the social and public safety implications of bioscience.
For now, we envision no regulatory authority for such a strengthened commission such as that possessed by the Atomic Energy Commission. However, should the Executive and Legislative branches together come to believe that an institution along such lines is needed for biotechnology, this strengthened commission could serve as a basis for it.

The capacity of America's educational system to create a 21st century workforce second to none in the world is a national security issue of the first order. As things stand, this country is forfeiting that capacity. The facts are stark:
· The American educational system needs to produce significantly more scientists and engineers, including four times the current number of computer scientists, to meet anticipated demand.*30
· To do this, more than 240,000 new and qualified science and mathematics teachers are needed in our K-12 classrooms over the next decade (out of a total need for an estimated 2.2 million new teachers).*31
· However, some 34 percent of public school mathematics teachers and nearly forty percent of science teachers lack even an academic minor in their primary teaching fields.*32
· In 1997, Asia alone accounted for more than 43 percent of all science and engineering degrees granted worldwide, Europe 34 percent, and North America 23 percent. In that same year, China produced 148,800 engineers, the United States only 63,000.*33
Education is the foundation of America's future. Quality education in the humanities and social sciences is essential in a world made increasingly "smaller" by advances in communication and in global commerce. But education in science, mathematics, and engineering has special relevance for the future of U.S. national security, for America's ability to lead depends particularly on the depth and breadth of its scientific and technical communities.
At the base of American national security, clearly, is the strength of the American economy. High-quality preparation of Americans for the working world is more important than ever. The technology-driven economy will add twenty million jobs in the next decade, many of them requiring significant technical expertise. The United States will need sharply growing numbers of competent knowledge workers, many of them in information sciences, an area in which there are already significant shortages.*34 But it is misleading to equate "information science" with "science" itself. It was basic science and engineering excellence that brought about the information revolution in the first place and, over the next quarter century, the interplay of bioscience, nanotechnology, and information science will combine to reshape most existing technologies. The health of the U.S. economy, therefore, will depend not only on professionals that can produce and direct innovation in a few key areas, but also on a populace that can effectively assimilate a wide range of new tools and technologies. This is critical not just for the U.S. economy in general, but specifically for the defense industry, which must simultaneously develop and defend against these same technologies.
The American educational system does not appear to be ready for such challenges and is confronted by two distinct yet inter-related problems. First, there will not be enough qualified American citizens to perform the new jobs being created today-including technical jobs crucial to the maintenance of national security. Already the United States must search abroad for experts and technicians to fill positions in the U.S. domestic economy, and Congress has often increased category limits for special visas (H-1B) for that purpose. If current trends are not stanched and reversed, large numbers of specialized foreign technicians in critical positions in the U.S. economy could pose security risks. More important, however, while the United States should take pride in educating, hosting, and benefiting from foreign scientific and technical expertise, it should take even more pride in being able to educate American citizens to operate their own economy at its highest level of technical and intellectual capacity.
Our ability to meet these needs is threatened by a second problem-that we do not now have, and will not have with current trends, nearly enough qualified teachers in our K-12 classrooms, particularly in science and mathematics. The United States will need roughly 2.2 million new teachers within the next decade.*35 A continued shortage in the quantity and quality of teachers in science and math means that we will increasingly fail to produce sufficient numbers of high-caliber American students to advance to college and post-graduate levels in these areas. Therefore we will lack not only the homegrown science, technology, and engineering professionals necessary to ensure national prosperity and security, but also the next generation of teachers of science and math at the K-12 level.
A chronic shortage of teachers presages severe consequences in all fields, but is especially hurtful in science. Too few teachers means teaching loads and class sizes that exceed optimum levels. Having too many classes and too many students invariably translates into insufficient time to prepare, which is a critical variable in effective teaching-especially so in hands-on science classrooms. It also means the necessity to press into service teachers who are not adequately prepared for classroom rigors.
The broad effect of the shortages in science and math teachers, and of other deficits in curricula and method, is already evident. Mathematics and science exam scores for U.S. students have been rising, but not fast enough to keep up with a large number of other countries. The lag is particularly significant for the nation's high school students. Americans have performed relatively well in both mathematics and science at the 4th grade level, and slightly above the international average at the 8th grade level, but show a sharp relative decline in the high school years.*36 The most recent test shows a relative decline at the 8th grade level as well.*37 This, as former Secretary of Education William Bennett has pointed out, creates the impression that the longer students remain in the American education system, the poorer their relative performance becomes.
Another major concern is that not all American citizens have the benefits of an adequate education. Wide economic disparity persists among K-12 public school districts. Fully 34 percent of the total public school student population (seventeen million children) is being educated in economically-depressed school districts that face the greatest shortages of teachers. Many teachers in these districts are not qualified by a degree in the field they teach, and many lack teaching certification as well. The disparity in the availability of qualified science and math teachers between regular and economically-depressed school districts is particularly alarming.
In short, our problems in this area are becoming cumulative. The nation is on the verge of a downward spiral in which current shortages will beget even more acute future shortages of high-quality professionals and competent teachers. The word "crisis" is much overused, but it is entirely appropriate here. If the United States does not stop and reverse negative educational trends-the general teacher shortage, and the downward spiral in science and math education and performance-it will be unable to maintain its position of global leadership over the next quarter century.
Resolving these cumulative problems will require a multi-faceted set of solutions. Educational incentive programs are needed to encourage students to pursue careers in science and technology, and particularly as K-12 teachers in these fields. Yet such incentives alone will not be adequate to avert the looming teacher shortage. Therefore, a set of additional actions must be taken to restore the professional status of educators and to entice those with science and math backgrounds into teaching. Only by addressing the systemic need to increase the number of science and math teachers will we ensure the supply of qualified science and technology professionals throughout our economy and in our national security institutions, both governmental and military.
As a major first step, we therefore recommend the following:
· 11: The President should propose, and Congress should pass, a National Security Science and Technology Education Act (NSSTEA) with four sections: reduced-interest loans and scholarships for students to pursue degrees in science, mathematics, and engineering; loan forgiveness and scholarships for those in these fields entering government or military service; a National Security Teaching Program to foster science and math teaching at the K-12 level; and increased funding for professional development for science and math teachers.
Section one of the National Security Science and Technology Education Act should provide incentives for students at all levels-high school, undergraduate, graduate, and post- graduate-to pursue degrees in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering.
Section two should provide substantial incentives to bring talented scientists, mathematicians, and engineers into government service-both civil and military. [The social science complement to this section will be discussed in recommendation 39.]
Section three should address the need to recruit quality science and math teachers at the K-12 level. To accomplish this goal, Congress should create a National Security Teaching Program through which graduates and experienced professionals in the fields of science, math, and engineering will commit to teach in America's public schools for three to five years. In return, NSTP Fellows will receive fellowships to an accredited education certification program, a loan repayment or cancellation option, and a signing bonus to supplement entry-level salaries. A national roster of districts in need of qualified teachers should be compiled and matched with the roster of NSTP Fellows.
The National Security Teaching Program will place teachers in the classroom who have both a teaching certification and a degree in their field. It will also encourage experienced professionals to teach, bringing deep subject matter expertise and a wealth of experience to bring into America's classrooms.*38 These lateral entrants might be Ph.Ds who have not found other suitable professional niches and "young" retired people, such as those who leave the military in their forties and fifties.*39 Enabling this latter group to teach will also require further changes in tax laws so that those receiving retirement and pension benefits are not penalized unduly for taking on a second educational career.
Section four must emphasize professional development focused on the needs of science and mathematics teachers. On-going professional development for science teachers is particularly important, as they must prepare their students to contend with the rapidly evolving pace of scientific innovation and discovery. The Eisenhower Program run by the Department of Education to meet the professional development needs of science and math teachers is a good example of a program that works.*40 It should be expanded and resourced accordingly.
Professional development that involves a substantial number of contact hours over a long period has a stronger impact on teaching practice than professional development of limited duration. Today, however, more than half of all science teachers in the United States report receiving no more than two days of professional development per year.*41 For this reason, we believe the emphasis of the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century (the Glenn Commission) on continuing professional education is right on the mark. The Glenn Commission emphasized Summer Institutes as well as Inquiry Groups and distance learning through a dedicated Internet portal for on-going professional education.*42
Congress should also establish and fund the National Math & Science Project to provide additional support for continuing professional development. Such a program can be modeled after the National Writing Project, an outstanding example of university/district collaboration. Its goal has been to improve student writing and learning in K-12 and university classrooms by providing schools, colleges, and universities with an effective professional development model. The National Writing Project also suggests itself as a model because it has been both cost-effective and has focused significant resources on traditionally-neglected impoverished areas.*43
All fifty states should also fund professional enrichment sabbaticals of various durations for science teachers, and should do so wherever possible in concert with local universities, science museums, and other research institutions. The federal government should strongly encourage and support the states in such endeavors. A more widespread sabbatical system for science educators would also improve liaison between secondary school teachers of science and math and university faculties adept in such subjects. Some metropolitan areas in the United States have developed excellent working relationships between high school teachers and both university and science museum faculties, and we encourage Education Department officials to carefully study and model these success stories.
We recognize that the widespread institution of enrichment sabbaticals for science teachers would be expensive, for it would require a personnel "float" to compensate for teachers who are on sabbatical. But this should be a long-term goal for science educators in at least grades 7-12, which should come to resemble professional standards at universities to the extent possible.
While the National Security Science and Technology Education Act would provide educational benefits and ongoing professional development opportunities for those who choose to teach, a range of additional actions are needed to improve both teacher recruitment and retention and the overall strength of school districts.
The anticipated shortage of quality teachers is a challenge, but it also offers tremendous opportunity. As we renew our pool of teachers, we can produce and train the best teachers with the best curricula, the best texts, and the best teaching methods. But it is clear that if the general national teacher shortage problem is not addressed, efforts to address deficiencies in the science and mathematics arena will not be met either. One cannot significantly improve the quality of science and math education without improving education in general. After all, science and math are taught in the same buildings, working under the same systems and budgets, and in the same general environment as that in which all other subjects are taught. That is why ensuring a superior scientific and technical community, one that satisfies both national economic and security needs, must start with reforming the educational system as a whole.
In this light, the Commission recognizes the need to take immediate steps, beyond the National Security Teaching Program, to attract much greater numbers of qualified graduates into the teaching profession, and to raise the quality of professional achievement across the board. We therefore recommend:
· 12: The President should direct the Department of Education to work with the states to devise a comprehensive plan to avert a looming shortage of quality teachers. This plan should emphasize raising teacher compensation, improving infrastructure support, reforming the certification process, and expanding existing programs targeted at districts with especially acute problems.
First, we must raise salaries for teachers, science and mathematics teachers in particular, to or near commercial levels.*44 As long as sharp salary inequities exist between what science and math teachers are paid and what equivalently-educated professionals make in the private sector, the nation's schools will lack the best qualified teachers in science and mathematics. Given the exigencies of the market, we see no reason why science and math teachers should not earn more than other teachers even in the same school system.
While increased funding from the federal and state governments is needed to achieve this, public-private and community-wide partnerships that link universities and businesses with local school districts could help fulfill both faculty and student needs through endowments and other programs.*45 Endowments are a proven means for enhancing professional competitiveness. Beyond their contribution to funding higher teacher salaries, they involve corporate and private philanthropy more effectively in improving American education. K-12 education should develop a resource base similar to that of higher education with which to meet educational needs. The federal government-through the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the National Research Council-can also help by standing ready to provide supplementary or matching funds for communities that take bold local initiatives to recruit and retain quality teachers. National, state, and local leaders should encourage corporate and private philanthropists to match disbursed endowment money, and Congress should work to ensure enhanced corporate tax benefits for monies provided for NSSTEA science/math education purposes of all sorts.
Endowment and other partnership programs could be used in several important ways, in addition to raising teacher salaries. They can provide the up-to-date laboratory facilities that are essential to effective discovery-based learning, and that are usually more expensive than most local school districts choose to bear. Without investment by the federal government and through these partnership programs in the modernization of high school laboratory facilities, even the highest quality science teachers will be unable to maximize their talents. Funds could also be used to develop innovative uses for technology such as modular texts in science that can be conveyed nationwide through the Internet.
Finally, these programs can provide student incentives to choose science and math careers. This may be through summer co-op programs-somewhat analogous to co-op programs on the university level-where students take summer jobs or internships related to their interests at companies and foundations that help endow the schools. Alternatively endowments might be used to pay students at the high school level for taking courses in science and math beyond minimal requirements. Some believe that students should be paid directly and that it is foolish to let students work at fast food chains, for example, when they could be induced for similar rewards to study physics and calculus. In lieu of, or in addition to, direct payment, students may be offered scholarship money to be set aside for university tuition.
Second, we must improve infrastructure support. Other knowledge-workers in the general economy are the beneficiaries, on average, of ten times the basic infrastructure investment than that afforded to teachers. This is a national disgrace. Beyond the laboratory facilities already mentioned, administrative support and resources are needed to ensure a disciplined and safe environment, and to provide such seemingly basic services as desk space, telephones, and copying facilities. This will not only help provide a better educational environment but, along with salary increases, will also help restore full professional status to the teaching profession. This will go a long way toward attracting and retaining high-quality teachers.
Third, we must create more flexible certification procedures to attract lateral entrants into education. We have already discussed the benefits of encouraging experienced professionals to become K-12 educators and certification procedures should reflect these benefits. In general they should be changed to emphasize teacher mastery of substance over matters of pedagogy at least at the grade 7-12 level.
Fourth, we should supplement these measures by expanding existing specially-targeted federal programs for geographical and socio-economic zones with especially acute problems. Through the National Security Teaching Program, we should strengthen federal loan repayment and cancellation options for recent college graduates engaged in these programs and increase their salary and housing benefits. Supplementary teacher training and certification programs should be provided, as well, in exchange for an additional commitment to teaching in selected public school systems. At the same time, we recommend the following:
· 13: The President and Congress should devise a targeted program to strengthen the historically black colleges and universities in our country, and should particularly support those that emphasize science, mathematics, and engineering.
Clearly, serious educational improvement will cost money. It will also require changes in attitudes toward education professionals. But if the American people want quality education and a truly professional environment in schools that is conducive to educational success, they will have to demand it, pay for it, and show greater respect to those professionals who deliver it.
We believe, however, that while more money for is a necessary condition for major improvement in the education system, it is not a sufficient condition. Despite significant investments in special programs, much professional attention, and significant expenditure of resources, many results of the educational system are still disappointing. New and creative approaches are needed, including approaches that harness the power of competition. As important, local communities must be empowered and involved more fully in education, for nothing tracks more directly with high student performance as parental involvement in their children's education.
In addition to the previous recommendations, this Commission believes that core secondary school curricula should be heavier in science and mathematics, and should require higher levels of proficiency for all high school students. Many specialists believe that tracking math and science students sometimes leads to a sharp deterioration of expectations, and hence discipline, in the lower tracks. According to nearly all professional evaluations, such a deterioration of expectations is lethal to the attitudes necessary to make the classroom experience work.^46 Given the exigencies of advanced 21st century economies, it is not good enough that we produce a sufficient elite corps of science, math, and engineering professionals. We must raise levels of math, science, and technology literacy throughout our society. Among other things, that means changing enduring perceptions that taking four years of science and math in high school is only for the "brainy" elite. This is a perception that, ultimately, could cause an economic disaster in this country.
Finally in this regard, as with nearly every other commission and professional study that has looked at this problem, we favor more rigorous achievement goals for both American teachers and students in science and math, and we favor making both accountable for improvements. We also believe that science curricula, in particular, must be better designed to teach science for what it is: a way of thinking and not just a body of facts. In our judgment, too much high school science curricula is still distorted by inappropriate evaluation methods. If testing and evaluation methods for science education better reflect the reality of science as a discovery-based rather than as a fact-based activity, it would be easier to reform curricula in an appropriate fashion as well.
One related matter must be addressed. As noted earlier, increasing numbers of the qualified engineers and scientists educated in the United States are coming from outside U.S. borders. Far from being negative, the cycle of their coming and going to and from the United States helps sustains U.S. needs. However, should they stop coming, or further accelerate their return home, the American population alone may not be able to sustain the needs of the U.S. economy over the next decade.
Fully 37 percent of doctorates in natural science, 50 percent of doctorates in mathematics and computer science, and 53 percent of doctorates in engineering at U.S. universities-the best in the world-are awarded to non-U.S. citizens.*47 However, the percentage of science and engineering doctoral recipients with firm plans to stay in the United States is declining.*48 The growing emphasis on science and technology in many foreign countries is enticing many U.S- trained foreign students to return to their countries of origin, or to go to other parts of the world. They are doing so in increasing numbers.
Given the uncertainty as to whether U.S. nationals alone can fill U.S. economic needs, Congress should adjust the appropriate immigration legislation to make it easier for those non- U.S. citizens with critical educational and professional competencies to remain in the United States, and to become American citizens should they so desire. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the appropriate Congressional committees, is the proper place to design such adjustments.
We believe strongly that America's future depends upon the ability of its educational system to produce students who constantly challenge current levels of innovation and push the limits of technology and discovery. They are the seed corn of our future. Presidential leadership will be critical in addressing the initiatives in education addressed by this Commission. That is why the Commission is heartened to learn that the new administration has declared education to be its first priority. It is the right choice.

Continued in Part 3
Appendix & Footnotes

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