Hassan proposes bipartisan bill to improve math teaching

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May 26—CONCORD — U.S Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., has proposed bipartisan legislation to modernize the teaching of mathematics in public schools.

The 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.

"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," 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."

The legislation would direct the national academies of math and sciences to conduct a study on the topic.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is the bill's co-sponsor.

"American mathematicians are innovators; they put the first man on the moon and developed the theory of relativity," Blackburn said.

"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."

Leaders of the New Hampshire Learning Initiative have endorsed the measure.

"We have heard from teachers that project-based and performance assessment in mathematics help students develop independence and a deeper understanding in their learning and reduced learning disruptions during COVID," said Ellen Hume-Howard, the initiative's executive director.

"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."

Other groups in support of the measure are 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), and Center for Innovation in Education (C!E),

This is the latest legislation Hassan has been working on with Republican senators to help make the nation's work force more competitive in the global economy.

klandrigan@unionleader.com

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