The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) was launched in 2007 to dramatically improve math and science education by taking effective programs with a track record of success to scale nationwide. NMSI began by scaling two programs:
The Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program has produced dramatic achievement gains in rigorous math and science courses in public high schools across the country. Students who pass an AP exam are much more likely to attend and graduate from college than students who do not participate in AP. NMSI’s goal is to increase the number of students—especially female and minority students—taking and receiving qualifying scores in AP math, science, and English exams.
The UTeach Program is an innovative teacher-preparation program that addresses the critical shortage of qualified math and science teachers in America. UTeach recruits talented content majors in math and science into teaching—resulting in improved teacher quality and production. The program produces teachers who are confident and competent in teaching their subject matters, and who are more likely to enter and stay in teaching.
BCG assisted with early startup of the NMSI. During this preparation phase, the team focused on five main areas:
Determining the business model
Designing the grant-selection process
Developing the launch and scale-up plan
Determining organization and financial requirements
Supporting the first round of fundraising
Examples of BCG's recommendations included:
Business Model Design Choices: creating NMSI as a strategic holding company that adds value through effective management and expertise in scaling education programs
Grant Making: determining the types of grantees that would be eligible, the selection process, and fund flows
Launch and Rollout Pace: attracting a strong slate of Year 1 candidates and beginning as aggressively as applicant quality allows
Organization: maintaining a small, talented staff within an NMSI "holding company"
In its first two years, NMSI has made tremendous progress by demonstrating that education programs can be replicated successfully—in multiples states, across multiple school districts, and at multiple universities—with immediate results:
NMSI has raised $140 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and ExxonMobil, and local affiliates have raised nearly $25 million in matching funds
There are 19 grantees across 14 states. There are 28 states and 52 universities on the waiting list to replicate NMSI's programs
The AP Training and Incentive Program is being replicated statewide in six states. It is currently in 67 public high schools and is impacting more than 13,000 students. Student enrollment in rigorous AP math, science, and English courses has increased 74 percent for female students and 122 percent for African-American and Hispanic students
The UTeach Program is being replicated at 13 universities across the country, with more than 1,100 students enrolled in first-year courses