Candidates differ on federal reach
- By Diane Frank
- Oct 06, 2000
Agreeing that science and technology education is vital to the global economy,
the two major presidential candidates differ on how the federal government
should reach out to help state and local efforts.
Advisers for Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush spoke
to a forum full of scientists, technology experts and educators at the American
Association for the Advancement of Science on Thursday. They highlighted
how the candidates would use federal money on programs to improve access
to information technology in schools and to include IT in teaching subjects
such as science, technology and math.
"The 21st-century economy is based on knowledge, and knowledge is based
on science," said Robert Walker, Bush's top science and research and development
adviser and a former chairman of the House Science Committee.
Although most of the work on the education front happens at the state and
local levels, Gore wanted to use the federal government's influence to affect
science and technology learning, said David Beier, Gore's chief domestic
In addition to providing more funding to state and local governments for
education and Internet access, Gore's plans include encouraging children
as young preschoolers to participate in science and technology disciplines,
aiming to catch their attention and generate excitement as early as possible,
Gore is also focusing on the concept of life-long learning and is trying
to make it easier for people who already have degrees to go back for further
education and training, he said.
A $1 billion math and science partnership fund tops Bush's plans. The initiative
would build a partnership among state and local education agencies and colleges
and universities, Walker said. States would be held accountable for boosting
student achievement in math and science while universities would help strengthen
state resources by providing their expertise.