Florida State University : Research in Review

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Toward Brighter Days for Science & Math Ed
Toward Brighter Days for Science & Math Ed

In February, FSU was awarded $2 million from the state to create a new center that will research ways to improve math and science education in Florida.

"The time is right for increasing our expectations for students in both math and science," said Gov. Charlie Crist, in announcing the award at a press conference held at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory headquarters in Innovation Park, near central campus.

In a nation that is losing ground in an international race to better educate young people in science and math, Florida isn't even keeping pace with most other states. The National Assessment of Educational Progress —the so-called "nation's report card"—found that on average, Florida eighth-graders have lagged consistently behind the rest of the country in both math and science. In 2005, 35 percent performed below the basic proficiency level in math; 49 percent demonstrated below basic proficiency in science.

The Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will be based in the university's Learning Systems Institute and will be headed by Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel laureate and professor of chemistry. The new center will be closely tied to the state Department of Education's Office for Math and Science, also just established to sharpen the state's focus on these disciplines.

The Office of Math and Science will oversee the development of new math and science standards for public schools and serve as a resource for teachers. The new FSU center will support those efforts. —C.S.