The NDEA had Broad Benefits, but Unquantifiable Benefits

The four NDEA Titles featured in this report contributed to general upward trends (e.g., in the rate of high school, college, and graduate completion; in the level of student preparedness in science, mathematics, and modern languages; in the number of teachers and degree-granting institutions; in the number of bachelors and doctoral degrees awarded; and in the number of scholarly publications by doctoral recipients) during the years that they were in force. Their provisions also contributed to broad socioeconomic changes in the United States because they enabled students from a wider range of income levels to attend and finish college.

Because the HEW Office of Education sponsored and conducted several detailed studies of Title IV over its lifetime, its effects have been well documented. However, it has proven difficult to separate the effects of all Title II, III, and V provisions from other drivers in the observed historical trends or to assign particular causal relationships. Some provisions can be linked strongly to results, while, for others, the evidence of a connection is largely anecdotal.

Contemporary concerns about patterns of postsecondary enrollment, student debt, and increasingly inadequate instructional equipment and the collective effect of these three concerns on national competitiveness echo the concerns of nearly 50 years ago— concerns that led to the establishment of the NDEA. Experience with the NDEA suggests that comprehensive educational legislation can have a strong, positive effect; however, without the means to track and analyze outcomes, its effects cannot be quantitatively and qualitatively established with certainty. VII-1


The National Defense Education Act improved science, technology, and college enrollment in the US, but its effects cannot be separated from the broader forces and trends going on during the time it was implemented. Future public policies intended to boost STEM must be implemented in such a way as to make their effects quantifiable.

Folksonomies: quantification public policy

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University (0.934474): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
National Defense Education Act (0.847386): dbpedia | freebase
Academic degree (0.841862): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Sociology (0.776296): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Academia (0.707530): dbpedia | freebase
Postgraduate education (0.696515): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Education (0.696415): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
College (0.673961): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The National Defense Education Act of 1958 : Selected Outcomes
Technical and Research Papers>Government Report, Other:  Flattau, Bracken, Bandeh-ahmadi, Sullivan (2007), The National Defense Education Act of 1958 : Selected Outcomes, Institute for Defense Analysis, Retrieved on 2013-06-21
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: education defense ndea