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Too little, too late? Can government and big business save STEM education?

Government and big business are investing millions to equip students with critical 21st century skills

government-business-stemIn December 2013, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students, ranked the United States 26 out of 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in reading, science and math.

Clearly, there is room for improvement among American students in science and math.

Just like in Massachusetts, there is a deficit of STEM workers in the neighboring New England state of Connecticut.

So what is the solution?

The federal government and businesses are responding with funding, training, and the necessary tools to equip students with 21st century technology skills. This is important not only to fill jobs in the U.S., but for America to remain competitive in the global economy.

On April 7, President Barack Obama announced 24 schools across the nation will receive more than $100 million in grants to provide students with work experience for what he called the “in-demand jobs of the future.”

Read the full story from the Associated Press here.

IBM, the American multinational technology and consulting giant, is partnering with a Connecticut high school to create a free, lottery-based “Early College High School.”

But IBM is not stopping with Connecticut: by 2015 there will be 26 new schools geared towards technical education. Read the full story in Norwalk Patch here.

What do you think about government and corporate intervention in education? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and by joining the conversation on Twitter @Michael_eSM.

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