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Senators Hassan, Blackburn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen K-12 STEM Education

Bipartisan Legislation Backed by NH Learning Initiative & Leading National Groups

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize math curriculum and improve K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States. The bipartisan Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act would help schools to update their math curriculum to make it more relevant and applicable to real-world scenarios. U.S. Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-6) and Representative Jim Baird (R-IN-4) introduced companion legislation in the House.


“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,” Senator 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. I look forward to working with Senator Blackburn to gain support for this important bill to help students succeed in the modern economy.”


“American mathematicians are innovators; they put the first man on the moon and developed the theory of relativity,” said Senator Blackburn. “Our students deserve access to math education that is relevant in the workplace and prepares them with the necessary tools to apply their passion and innovative spirit to American research, defense, and technology.” 


“We have heard from teachers that project-based and performance assessment in mathematics helps students develop independence and a deeper understanding in their learning and reduced learning disruptions during COVID,” said Ellen Hume-Howard, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Learning Initiative. “We are excited that this bill will help teachers engage students in all the ways mathematics and data play a critical role in our lives and jobs.”


The bipartisan Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act would direct the National Science Foundation to provide competitive grants 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.


Along with the New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI), the bill is supported by The American Statistical Association (ASA), The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), The Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP), The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Center for Innovation in Education (C!E), and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).


Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to help ensure that America’s workforce is prepared to compete in the 21st century innovation economy. Senator Hassan recently introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Todd Young (R-IN) to help more students earn college credits while still in high school. Senators Hassan and Young are working to include elements of their bill, including expanding access to college-level STEM classes for high school students, in the Endless Frontier Act, a bipartisan bill that Senator Hassan helped introduce to help the United States boost innovation and outcompete China. The Endless Frontier Act also includes bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Hassan, to strengthen national security by advancing U.S. capabilities in quantum networking and establishing a more comprehensive approach to workforce development. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan also introduced the bipartisan American Innovation and Jobs Act to support research and development (R&D) investments by innovative small businesses and startups.