WASHINGTON—A $1.6 million study by an independent research firm is likely to provide ammunition for members of Congress who want the National Science Foundation to become more involved in pre-college science education.

The study by SRI International of Palo Alto, Calif., requested in 1985 by Congress, was released during the August congressional recess. But it is likely to be “chewed over” next year, according to Thomas Van der Voort, staff director of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the NSF’s budget.

The study concluded that NSF can take the lead in improving science education by adopting a more aggressive and strategic approach and by spending more money on the effort. “The NSF clearly has the potential to be the national leader of efforts to improve K-12 science education,” said Michael S. Knapp, co-director of the study. But while the foundation’s science and engineering education directorate is addressing several oppor- tunities,...

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