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ERIC Number: ED548250
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
Unequal Distribution of Resources for K-12 Science Instruction: Data from the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education
Smith, P. Sean; Nelson, Michele M.; Trygstad, Peggy J.; Banilower, Eric R.
Horizon Research, Inc.
Equitable science education opportunities are shaped by factors originating inside and outside schools. Resources for science instruction--for example, laboratory equipment and course offerings--have historically been allocated unequally across schools serving different student communities. This paper addresses the equity of instructional resource distribution for K-12 science education in the United States. Data from a current, nationally representative sample of teachers and schools indicate some disparities in the distribution of three key resources: well-prepared teachers, material resources, and instructional practices. Statistical analyses show imbalances in resource allocation by school poverty level and/or minority student body composition, consistent with historical trends. Other data suggest few differences in the distribution of instructional resources by school community type (urban, suburban, and rural). Overall, the findings shed light on the national science education landscape, and provide food for thought and discussion among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers alike. A chart showing differences in outcome variables, by equity lenses, is appended.
Horizon Research, Inc. 326 Cloister Court, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Tel: 919-489-1725; Fax: 919-493-7589; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: Horizon Research, Inc.
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL-1008228