GAO Study Highlights Need for Funding Geography Education

K-12 Geography Proficiency Levels Have Not Improved Since 1994 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an important report last week that underscores the need for funding K-12 geography education in the United States. The Association of American Geographers (AAG) provided substantial input to GAO during their process of developing this report. “The GAO report is…
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Policy Update

Old Name Officially Returns to Nation’s Highest Peak

The story of America is told by the names on the land. When you hear names like Kentucky and Kennesaw, Klamath and Kodiak, your mind immediately starts to turn over all manner of associated thoughts of what you may have experienced or learned or even what you may imagine about that place. Geographic names often…
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Progress Towards ESEA Reauthorization

The AAG has been working hard to encourage Senators to include dedicated funding for geography as part of any new education law and have had some success to this point. Geography is again included as a core academic subject within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) bill and there is a new funding program that…
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White House Announces New STEM Education Funds

The following news piece from AAAS details an Obama Administration STEM initiative. The AAG has been working hard to ensure that federal programs focused on STEM science and education opportunities are open to geographers and GIScientists.    During the White House Science Fair on March 23, President Obama announced a commitment to invest over $240 million…
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Public Access to NSF-Funded Research

Geographers and GIScientists may be interested in the AAAS news item below detailing NSF plans to make funded research results public.  On March 18, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its plan to promote public access to the results of NSF-sponsored research. While the agency is not building its own public archive, NSF states that…
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Policy Update

COSSA Reviews President’s Budget Request for Social and Behavioral Science

COSSA announced last week that President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress on February 2, officially kicking off the FY 2016 appropriations process. In turn, COSSA has released its analysis of the President's budget request. The 62-page report provides funding details for all federal departments, agencies, and programs important to social and…
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President Obama to Request Discretionary Spending Increase

Reports indicate that the President's budget request for FY 2016, due on February 2, will seek to overturn most of the spending constraints scheduled for next year under the Budget Control Act. The Administration may propose to raise the discretionary spending caps by up to $68 billion, or seven percent, above their current post-sequestration levels,…
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NRC Roundtable Discusses Need for Improved Public Understanding of Social Science Research 

On January 8, the National Research Council (NRC) Roundtable on the Application of Social and Behavioral Science Research convened its first meeting. Chaired by Arthur "Skip" Lupia from the University of Michigan, the Roundtable brings together a diverse set of stakeholders in the social and behavioral science community to discuss ways to improve public understanding…
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114th Congress Gavels In; Committee Leaders Appointed

The 114th Congress was officially sworn in on January 6. The new Congress includes a freshman class of 52 Representatives (36 Republicans and 16 Democrats) and 12 Senators (11 Republicans and 1 Democrat), as well as a new GOP majority in the Senate. The party split now stands at 246 Republicans to 188 Democrats (and…
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