A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 131

Dwight D. Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education State Grant Program

(CFDA No. 84.164)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (Dwight D. Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education Act), as amended (20 U.S.C. 2981) (expires September 30, 1999).

Purpose: To provide financial assistance to State education agencies (SEAs), State agencies for higher education (SAHEs), local education agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education, the Outlying Areas, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to improve the skills of teachers and the quality of instruction in mathematics and science in public and private elementary and secondary schools.

Funding History

Fiscal Year Appropriation1
1984 $0
1985 90,100,000
1986 39,182,000
1987 72,800,000
1988 108,904,000
1989 128,440,000
1990 126,837,000
1991 202,011,000
1992 240,000,000
1993 246,016,000
1994 250,998,000

1/ The appropriation amounts exclude funds that support Title II National programs (20 U.S.C. 2989).

II. Program Information and Analysis

Population Targeting

The program supports pre-service and in-service training and retraining of teachers and other school personnel, and the recruitment of minority teachers, in the fields of mathematics and science. Over 90 percent of all LEAs and approximately 1,100 institutions of higher education have participated in the program (III.1). Each grantee must assure that its programs will take into account the need for greater access to participation by historically under-represented and under-served populations, including females, minorities, individuals with disabilities, individuals with limited-English proficiency, migrant students, and gifted and talented students.

From analysis of State performance reports, the Department estimates that flow-through funds to LEAs during school year 1991-92 supported activities that served approximately 744,000 participants, 94 percent of whom were in-service teachers, the remainder being pre-service teachers, administrators, supervisors, and other staff. During this same period, SEAs' Demonstration and Exemplary projects served an estimated 39,500 participants, 84 percent of whom were in-service teachers. Grants to institutions of higher education supported activities that served approximately 63,300 participants, 91 percent of whom were in-service teachers. In some cases, figures reported as multiple participants may actually reflect participation of the same teacher in multiple professional development activities (III.1).

Services

A 2 year national study of the Education for Economic Security Act Title II/Eisenhower Program was completed in 1990; the final report was issued in February 1991 (III.2). Although most of the data applied specifically to the 1988-89 school year (the last year of the Education for Economic Security Act Title II Program), reauthorization in 1988 did not change the program significantly, and findings generally apply to the Eisenhower State Grant Program. Highlights of the findings include the following:

Many small LEAs pool their Eisenhower program funds, either by forming consortia or by turning their funds over to intermediate units such as Education Service Centers, which obtain training and other services for them. However, about 10 percent of very small districts do not participate in the program, largely because the amount of funding is too small to warrant a project. Institutions of higher education, which are funded competitively by the SAHE, work with one or more LEAs, and may provide services in partnership with businesses, museums, and other community organizations. Five percent of funds apportioned for programs at the LEA level are retained by the SEA to support demonstration and exemplary projects (III.1).

Program activities must emphasize science and mathematics instruction. Analysis of State performance reports for school year 1991-92 indicates that 53 percent of the LEAs used flow-through funds to support activities in both science and mathematics, with the remainder split evenly between only mathematics (24 percent) and only science (22 percent) (III.1).

Teacher training projects that involve computer instruction are authorized only in the context of mathematics and science programs, and LEAs can use funds to purchase computer or telecommunications equipment only at schools with at least a 50 percent low-income population, after all other training needs have been met. The program has also focused attention on improving access to instruction in these critical subjects by historically under-represented and under-served groups, such as women and minorities (III.1).

Most of the professional development supported by the Eisenhower State Grant Program has been relatively brief, not part of a comprehensive plan, and not sustained. Research and successful programs, however, have demonstrated the value of sustained and intensive high-quality professional development based on new models of teaching and learning, tied to high content standards, and located within professional communities of teachers. As the national study found, Title II/Eisenhower funds were more likely to be well spent in school districts with well-focused agendas for improvement (III.2).

Analysis of State performance reports for school year 1991-92 indicated that 42 percent of LEAs used Eisenhower flow-through funds for workshops and seminars of 8 hours or less, compared to only 9 percent of projects for institutions of higher education. Over one-third (36 percent) of LEAs reported using Eisenhower funds to support extended workshops or mini-courses of 9-20 hours, compared to almost half (49 percent) of higher education projects. Full-term courses of 21-30 hours were reported by 8 percent of the LEAs and 20 percent of the higher education projects, with other kinds of activities accounting for the remainder. Figures on the duration of LEAs' professional development activities are based on responses from 81 percent of all States; for institutions of higher education, figures are based on responses from 73 percent of all States (III.1).

Program Administration

At least two-thirds of Eisenhower State Grant Program funds flow through SEAs to LEAs. Funds are allocated to LEAs in accordance with student enrollment counts and poverty criteria, upon the SEA's review and approval of LEA applications that include a description of the activities to be provided and their relationship to the LEAs' needs assessments. Twenty-five percent of allotted funds go to the SAHE, which makes competitive awards to institutions of higher education to provide services to LEAs. SEAs can use the remainder of funds for administration, technical assistance, and demonstration and exemplary programs (III.1). The national study found that the three components of the program (flow-through funds to districts, higher education grants, and State leadership activities) provided services that largely complemented and reinforced one another (III.2).

Seventy-two percent of the grants to institutions of higher education were in the range from $10,000-$49,999, according to analysis of State performance reports for 1991-92 (III.1). The national evaluation found that grants to institutions of higher education averaged about $31,000 per project, but there was a large variation in grant size, which ranged from $750 to $419,000. Grants were typically for one year only. Nearly one-fifth of all institutions of higher education in the Nation had received Title II or Eisenhower grants. On average, only four percent of grant funds were used to pay for indirect costs at the host institution, far lower than the indirect costs typically associated with scientific or education grants. More than half the project directors were in mathematics and science departments, rather than in departments or schools of education (III.2).

The study found that the Demonstration and Exemplary projects supported by SEAs and SAHEs are numerous and modest in size. More than 700 were supported in 1988-89, averaging $17,000 each. These projects are highly varied and are typically designed to address key concerns within each State, such as efforts to educate teachers about new State curriculum frameworks or new high school graduation requirements (III.2).

The national study of the program made several recommendations (III.2). Among these are (1) that States and LEAs focus more resources on projects of higher intensity and longer duration, and (2) that dissemination efforts be strengthened in order to provide State and local agencies with maximum information on effective and exemplary uses of funds.

Management Improvement Strategies

The Department developed new forms for the 1993-94 annual State performance reports to provide a clearer picture of the program within the context of systemic reform. In addition to asking for data on program activities, the new forms call for information on the placement of the Eisenhower program within the SEA or SAHE, coordination with other major educational reform initiatives in the State, State educational needs assessments, guidance provided by States to school districts, and program evaluation.

III. Sources of Information

  1. Program files.

  2. The Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Education Program: An Enabling Resource for Reform (Washington, DC: SRI International and Policy Studies Associates, 1991).

IV. Planned Studies

In FY 1994, the National Science and Technology Council began a study of teacher enhancement programs among several member agencies, including the selected projects receiving funding from the Department's Eisenhower program . The study is examining professional development for in-service teachers and its influence on their classroom instruction. A preliminary report is due in FY 1995.

In FY 1995, the Department plans to begin a comprehensive evaluation of the Eisenhower State Grant Program to assess the program's contribution toward systemic educational reform. In addition, during FY 1993, the Department began evaluations of the Eisenhower State Curriculum Frameworks Projects and Regional Consortiums Program. As part of the evaluations, the Department is examining the relationship of these programs with the Eisenhower State Grant Program. The first interim report is expected to be released in FY 1996.

V. Contacts for Further Information

Program Operations:
Daniel Bonner, (202) 260-2517

Program Studies:
Nancy Loy, (202) 401-1958

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