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The Capitol Corner: Realizing the Importance of Data Literacy

The Capitol Corner: Realizing the Importance of Data Literacy

Recognizing that STEM fields are becoming more data driven by the day, a bi-partisan group in Congress has come forward with legislation creating programs focused on increasing data literacy.  Led by Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI), Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), and Rep. Young Kim (R-CA), the Data Science and Literacy Act directs the Department of Education to award grants to educational agencies to increase access to and support for data literacy, data science, and statistics education. 

“Data education is integral to bolstering our global competitiveness, unlocking good-paying jobs, and fostering a well-informed society,” said Representative Haley Stevens, the bill’s sponsor and a member of the House Education and Workforce and Science, Space and Technology Committees.  “I am proud to introduce this legislation that helps ensure, no matter their background or ZIP code, that all students are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to prepare them for a career in the STEM fields.” 

Specifically, the legislation supports a voluntary program at the Department of Education through which educational entities (pre-K–12 and two- and four-year colleges) can apply for funding to increase access to data science and literacy education. The bill would authorize $10 million annually to, among other things, provide professional development for teachers and expand access to STEM classes, using data science and literacy as a catalyst for increased interest in STEM programs and opportunities.  

“The Data Science and Literacy Act will equip educational institutions with the tools they need to teach students of all ages and across all regions of the country the skills needed to get good-paying jobs and help our nation win the future,” added Representative Young Kim, a co-sponsor of the bill and a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. 

ASME is a supporter of the Data Science and Literacy Act. This common sense, bi-partisan bill was referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee for consideration.

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