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The underlying philosophy of NSF's Math and Science Partnership (MSP) is that collaborations of school systems, higher education, and other partners will increase the capacity of preK-12 educational systems to provide requisites for learning to high standards in science and mathematics. NSF developed the MSP in conjunction with the President's No Child Left Behind education initiative. The MSP seeks to ensure the future strength of the Nation by supporting the preparation of the next generation of scientists, engineers, science and math educators, and a science-literate citizenry.

The strategic focus of the MSP is to engage the Nations higher education institutions; local, regional, and State school districts; and other partners in preK-12 reform by calling for a significant commitment by colleges and universities to improving the quality of science and mathematics instruction in schools and by investing in the recruitment, preparation, and professional development of highly competent science and mathematics teachers. MSP, as a major national effort, is an investment intended to serve all students so that learning outcomes can no longer be predicted based on race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, or disability.

MSP will support the development, implementation, and sustainability of exemplary partnerships to improve student outcomes in high-quality mathematics and science by all students in all preK-12 levels. The partnerships will be expected to contribute to increases in student achievement across the board, as well as reductions in achievement gaps in mathematics and science education among diverse student populations differentiated by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, or disability.