Report on Reports II Overview
Many organizations are issuing reports calling for urgent action for transforming America’s scientific and technological infrastructure. The extraordinary impact of these recent reports is their vision of what needs to be done and of America’s capacity to move forward on a creative and aggressive agenda for action.
In 2002, Project Kaleidoscope disseminated a PKAL Report on Reports, with the goal to provide easy access to reflections and recommendations– by national leaders to national leaders– focusing on ensuring America’s undergraduate programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are of highest quality. We are now preparing Report on Reports II, focusing on calls for action since 2003 that substantiate the earlier calls for action. Even though there are consistent themes in reports pre- and post-2002, the set of reports gathered in these pages clearly suggest the heightened awareness of the urgency of transforming the nation’s educational community, at all levels.
Part I in 2006 Report on Reports II presents materials from some of the most influential recent reports by national organizations concerned about our nation’s scientific, technological and educational infrastructure– groups with a big picture perspective on our nation’s future. The authors of these reports describe the urgency of the need from the perspective of America’s need to remain a nation of innovators, become a nation of learners, and offer all U.S. citizens opportunity for a full and productive life in a world increasingly influenced by science and technology– all of which are goals toward the larger vision of sustaining America’s economic competitiveness in what is now seen as our “flat” world.
Obviously, recognizing the urgency and having a clear vision are only first steps in the “transformation of the system” called for in these reports. Their descriptions of the urgency of the matter may make the task seem overwhelming; their visions might seem unreachable. But it is clear from their collective recommendations there is a realistic awareness of what needs to be done, what resources it will take, and which sector of the stakeholder community must take responsibility. Most point to the models of success (often isolated instances of success) from which our nation can mobilize itself in this first decade of the 21st century.
We invite you to review and reflect upon reports from five national groups, as a first step in thinking through how your community can respond to their calls for action:
- To plan and invest for the long-term…to promote a national innovation-oriented culture
- To focus as quickly as possible on areas that affect the choices made by students now in the pipeline
- To increase an investment in the nation’s S&T talent pool
- To scale-up practices succeeding in nurturing, deploying and retaining the talent of all students
- To have in place, by 2010, systems and practices that give all students in America classrooms the skills and attributes needed to adapt to 21st century realities.