Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Reps. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., and Jim Baird, R-Ind., have introduced the Statistical Modeling Education Act,  which would help K-12 schools to modernize their math curriculum and improve K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

“The United States must lead the world in STEM education so that we can continue to innovate and develop technologies that will help strengthen our national security and outcompete China,” Sen. Hassan said. “Our bipartisan legislation would help schools adopt a math curriculum that teaches students how to apply mathematics to real-world scenarios and gain the skills that our innovative businesses need.”

According to the bill’s cosponsors, the bipartisan legislation would direct the National Science Foundation to create a competitive grants program focused on modernizing mathematics in STEM education through mathematical and statistical modeling, including data-driven and computational thinking. It will also direct the National Academies to conduct a study on the same topic.

“The importance of STEM education cannot be overstated,” said Rep. Houlahan. “We as elected leaders need to make it clear to our communities that STEM education and diversity within the STEM talent pipeline are absolutely essential. Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation will help innovate our math curriculum to ensure students are learning real-world applications at an early age. Investing in STEM education is investing in the jobs of tomorrow and the young Americans who will one day fill those jobs.”

The bill has already garnered support from The American Statistical Association, The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, The Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications, The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Center for Innovation in Education, and the Business Software Alliance.

“The Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act provides a much-needed solution to improving the quality of STEM education in America,” said Rep. Baird. “This legislation advances mathematical instruction by incorporating modern tools and context, including data, statistics, and computation. Mathematical modeling is currently taught on a limited basis yet is the foundation for important work our nation is addressing within research, development, and technological innovation.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs