Primary and Secondary STEM Education
In addition to participating in TIMSS, the United States also carries out the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to assess elementary and secondary students in the United States on subjects including mathematics and science. In October 2013, NCES released the NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study, allowing comparison of U.S. states against international standards.
The production of highly skilled scientists and engineers has its foundation in student performance during early education at the primary and secondary levels. Long-term trends in these areas show that students’ mathematics performance in the United States has been slowly improving over the past three decades.
STEM achievement in primary and secondary schools is an indicator of how well the United States is ensuring that students are later prepared to pursue STEM degrees, enabling them to enter the space workforce. Every two years, the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) uses standardized tests to rate the mathematics and science proficiency of fourth- and eighth-grade students.
There is a broad consensus that high-quality STEM education is critical to producing a workforce capable of maintaining a competitive edge in numerous technological areas, including space. However, space leaders, elected officials, and government agencies in the United States have frequently expressed concerns that the supply of potential new STEM workers is not adequate to meet future demands.
Starting at the 4th grade level, only 39% of students tested proficient or higher in mathematics in 2007, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. . .