Document Type



Educational Studies (CGU)

Publication Date



Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Education Economics | Higher Education | Science and Mathematics Education


Massive Federal expenditures for science research and development have been commonplace since World War II and the spectacular technical success of the Manhattan project. Shortly after the war the case for continued government support of basic science research was made by Vannevar Bush (1945) and others; the major organization which grew out of this Federal concern was the National Science Foundation. Subsequently the late fifties (and the voyage of Sputnik) saw science education become a national priority. That period spawned a wide array of measures in support of science education, e.g., the National Defense Education Act.

The passage of time brought increased governmental concern with monitoring and evaluating federally supported programs and a reluctance to simply underwrite projects with a blank check. Thus, for example, the landmark 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) contained measures requiring evaluation of projects it was launching. The present research grew out of a request for this kind of impact evaluation by the directors of a key National Science Foundation program. This NSF unit is the College Science Improvement Program (COSIP) which dispenses millions of dollars each year with the goal of improving undergraduate science education.

Rights Information

© 1970 American Council on Education. Posted with permission.