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A Bigger Focus on STEM for Race to the Top?

From guest blogger Debbie Viadero

Word slipped out at today's meeting of the National Board for Education Sciences that the final regulations for the Race to the Top program, which are due to be published any day now, will include a big focus on science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM subjects.

That could be a change from the draft guidelines for the $4 billion grant program, which were released in July and indicated states would be given extra points (or a "competitive preference") for addressing STEM. The question is whether the new regulations would elevate STEM even further. A previous post in this space discussed, in fact, how important STEM is to President Obama.

The talk of the emphasis on science and math came in a question innocently posed by the newest member of the the Institute of Education Sciences board, which was created in 2001 to advise the department's primary research arm. A department official lent credence to the notion, saying "I don't think that's been announced yet." No further details were shared.

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