American Competitiveness Initiative

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President George W. Bush participates in a Panel on the American Competitiveness Initiative at Cisco Systems, Inc in San Jose, California, Friday, April 21, 2006.

The American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) is a federal assistance program intended to help America maintain its competitiveness through investment in research and development (R&D) and education. The ACI’s focus is on programs that are likely to strengthen U.S. competitiveness by targeting funding to agencies that support research in the physical sciences. NASA, however, is not included in the ACI.

The ACI was announced in President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address given on January 31, 2006.[1] The Initiative commits $5.9 billion ($1.3 billion in new Federal funding, and an additional $4.6 billion in R&D tax incentives) in FY 2007 to increase investments in R&D, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship. Over ten years, the Initiative plans to commit $50 billion to increase funding for research and $86 billion for R&D tax incentives.[2]

In partnership with the private sector, state and local governments, and colleges and universities, the ACI hopes to promote new levels of educational achievement and economic productivity.

The ACI was signed into law in 2007 and has since been replaced by the America COMPETES Act. The cutoff date for grants appropriated and funded by this bill was December 31, 2008.[3]

Focus Areas[edit]

  • Federal investment in the most current basic research, and facilities and instruments
  • Institutions of higher learning that provide research opportunities in math, science, engineering, and technology
  • Workforce training programs
  • Immigration policies aimed at attracting talented international mathematicians and scientists
  • Private sector investment in R&D
  • Updated patenting system to further protect intellectual property
  • Doubling the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years
  • Encouraging the expansion of a favorable environment for additional private-sector investment in innovation
  • Improving the quality of education to provide American children with a strong foundation in math and science
  • Supporting universities that provide world-class education and research opportunities
  • Providing job training that affords more workers and manufacturers the opportunity to improve their skills and better compete in the 21st century
  • Attracting and retaining the best and brightest to enhance entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and job creation in America by supporting comprehensive immigration reform
  • Fostering a business environment that encourages entrepreneurship and protects intellectual property[2]

Goals[edit]

  • 300 grants for schools to implement research-based mathematics and science curricula
  • 100,000 highly qualified math and science teachers by the year 2015
  • 700,000 advanced placement (AP) tests passed by low-income students
  • 10,000 more scientists, students, post-doctoral fellows, and technicians provided opportunities to contribute to the innovation enterprise.[4]
  • Double funding over ten years to $50 billion for innovation-enabling research at key Federal agencies that support the physical sciences and engineering (National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • Making permanent the Research and Experimentation tax credit to encourage increased private sector investment in innovation
  • Improve K-12 math and science education by training teachers and developing effective teaching materials
  • Offer training opportunities to 800,000 workers annually[5]

Capabilities[edit]

The ACI hopes to improve America’s capabilities in numerous mathematical and scientific fields. Some of these include:

Education[edit]

The ACI proposes $380 million in new Federal funds to invest in the Nation’s education system.

  • Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) Program:
    • $122 million investment
    • Train additional 70,000 AP/IB math and science teachers in five years with matching dollar contributions from states and the private sector
    • Increase the number of AP/IB math and science tests passed by low-income students from 230,000 to 700,000
    • Increase funding to $122 million with specific emphasis on math and science
    • Offer incentives and training to teachers to become AP/IB math and science teachers
    • Subsidize AP/IB testing fees for low-income students
  • Establish an Adjunct Teacher Corps program to encourage up to 30,000 math and science professionals to become adjunct high school teachers by the year 2015
    • $25 million investment to encourage partnerships between school districts and public or private organizations involved in science, math, and engineering
  • Improve classroom instructional methods and materials by establishing a National Math Panel ($10 million investment) to evaluate the effectiveness of various ways of teaching math and science
  • Math Now (combined $250 million investment) for
    • Elementary students: help prepare students for advanced math courses in middle and high school
    • Middle School students: help diagnose and remedy students lacking proficient math skills and better align instruction with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) goals
  • Evaluation of Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education programs to gauge effectiveness in meeting stated goals ($5 million investment)
  • Inclusion of Science Assessments in NCLB accountability[5]

Competitiveness Grants Program[edit]

  • Supplemental grants to low-income
    • college freshman and sophomores who completed a rigorous high school curriculum and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in college
    • college juniors and seniors who major in math, science, and critical foreign languages
  • Provide enhanced Pell Grants to students who pursue rigorous coursework in high school and the Presidential Math and Science Scholars Fund
  • Provide a total of $4.5 billion in grant aid to students through the 2010-2011 academic year, $790 million in the 2006-2007 academic year, and $850 million in 2007-2008

Career Advancement Accounts (CAA)[edit]

  • Self-managed accounts of up to $3,000 available for approximately 800,000 workers annually to increase their skills though job training

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_presidential_documents&docid=pd06fe06_txt-11.pdf
  2. ^ a b http://www.eda.gov/PDF/EDAUpdate_0206.html
  3. ^ http://www.nsf.gov/attachments/108276/public/ACI.pdf
  4. ^ http://nasawatch.com/archives/2006/04/american-competitiveness-initiative-no-room-for-nasa.html
  5. ^ a b http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/stateoftheunion/2006/aci/

External links[edit]