The report reflected and intensified rising concern at every level of Government, within the business and academic communities, and among parents and local leaders. In the 1980's, the Nation and the Federal Government began to respond to the challenge of changing the course of education. The culmination of that effort was the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act"  -- legislation passed by Congress in 1994 that outlined daring steps to bring about fundamental and permanent change.
In 1993, the President's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was created to renew and reshape the science and technology components of the Federal enterprise. Goals, objectives, and priorities were developed collaboratively in an interagency forum with private sector input. The result was a set of policy principles and a set of Federal goals which represent a common framework to guide the Administration's science and technology investments.
Achieving these goals will require an ongoing supply of imaginative scientists and engineers, an educated and trained work force and wide public understanding. Thus NSTC has a major stake in the effort to revitalize education and training in America as well as the assignment to mobilize the talent and resources of most, if not all, of the Federal agencies as part of this effort. To this end, it created the Committee on Education and Training (CET), with broader scope and responsibility than the previous committee which addressed education at the Federal level -- the Committee on Education and Human Resources (CEHR) -- and with a larger roster of member agencies and departments.
The CET is chartered to:
Two subcommittees were formed to meet these responsibilities: 1) The Subcommittee on Research and Development in Education and Training, formed in 1994; and 2) the Subcommittee on Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education, with its roots going back to efforts started in 1990.
The CET strategy is intended to address the entire education continuum -- elementary and secondary education, undergraduate and graduate education, public understanding of science, work force training, and lifelong learning. It supports the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" legislation, "Science in the National Interest," and the NSTC emphasis on research and development in education technologies and learning productivity.
This Plan requires maintaining the integrity and strength of each program. They are interdependent, and each plays a critical role in meeting the relevant national education goals as well as working to ensure America's future economic and technological competitiveness by making today's education and training relevant to tomorrow's workplace.