NAACP Applauds Aims of National Math and Science Initiative

March 20, 2007

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People strongly applauds and supports the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). NMSI is a non-profit entity, overseen by a board of eminent persons in the field of math and science education, created to raise funds to facilitate national implementation of programs that have demonstrated improvement in math and science education in the U.S.

"Strengthening U.S. student performance in math and science in today's global economy is a must," said NAACP Interim President and CEO Dennis C. Hayes.

While the science and math achievement gap between African American and white students narrowed between 1995 and 2003, the gap still persists. In 2003, white fourth graders' science scores fell by seven points while scores for African Americans' increased by 25 points, a gap of 78 points remained. Similarly, for eighth grade students, the gap between African Americans and white students narrowed from 97 points to 77 points in 2003. Again, a gap still remains.

"The NAACP encourages NMSI and partners to strategically focus their efforts on expanding opportunities for math and science students in urban communities like Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas and Houston," said NAACP Chief Policy Officer John H. Jackson. "This is where we have seen an extreme need for this type of great programming."

The NAACP has a long history and tradition of supporting efforts to increase curriculum in public education as an important component of education reform. The Association is particularly pleased that the NMSI approach could open doors for increased numbers of minority students who may have an interest in pursuing studies and careers in science and math-related fields.

"NMSI is a laudable demonstration of a commitment to improving preparation and access to higher education while simultaneously strengthening America's strategic and competitive position in the world," said Michael T.S. Wotorson, NAACP National Education Director.

The NAACP National Education Department is urging corporations, foundations, and educational institutions to actively support NMSI.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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