The DC Examiner ran an editorial today using the Math and Science Incentive Act of 2005 (CRA blog entry here) to focus on the lack of emphasis that primary, secondary, and university education place on teaching science and math. The editorial praises the Act, introduced by Frank Wolf (R-VA) in the House and John Warner (R-VA) in the Senate, which would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan interest for post-college work or teaching in mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering.
The piece notes, however, that this bill alone is insufficient:
Last week, the NSF’s congressionally-mandated Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering reported measurable but uneven gains in underrepresented groups. However, as Committee Chairman Robert Lichter put it, “bold, innovative and long-term initiatives are still needed, especially at the institutional level.” Interest-free student loans are not quite in that league, but at least they’re a start.
Updates on the status of the bill will appear in the blog if and when it gains traction in committee (Education and the Workforce in the House and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in the Senate).
Update posted June 29: The provisions of this bill have been rolled into the College Access and Opportunity Act, which was part of the higher education authorization. ACM has followed this issue in their blog.