Project 2061 is concerned more with lasting reform of education than with the immediate improvement of the schools—although such improvement is certainly needed, possible, and under way in many parts of the United States. But, as the nation discovered after Sputnik more than three decades ago, enduring educational reform is not easily achieved.

The possibility of successfully restructuring science education in its entirety depends on the presence of a public demand for reform in science education and on what we as a nation think it takes to achieve reform. This chapter begins by showing that there is in fact a consensus on the need for reform in science, mathematics, and technology education, and then presents the premises that underlie the approach of Project 2061 to reform.