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STEM-deficient education holds back nation’s economy

STEM education’s importance cannot be ignored, stakeholders say

STEM-education“America’s K-12 and post-secondary education systems are failing in their mission to prepare our nation’s children and young adults in science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM fields. And it is a national disaster in the making.

During my tenure as U.S. secretary of education, I had significant concerns about the academic rigor and relevance being delivered to America’s students in these fields. Today, American students score 23rd in math and 31st in science when compared with 65 other top industrial countries. And yet a recent study by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology found, “economic forecasts point to a need for producing, over the next decade, approximately 1 million more college graduates in STEM fields than expected under current assumptions.”

We are nowhere near meeting that goal.

(Next page: How can we boost STEM education?)

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  1. rwoliver

    April 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I have been a very staunch supporter of hands-on applied learning for many years. Now we are calling it STEM to get academia on-board. However I am very dissappointed to see that Bill Bennett is associated with Project-Lead-the Way. PLTW is a rip off of the public school system claimiong to be a non-profit, on paper at least. This was indirectly started by one main for- profit CAD software company that does not support the hardware hands-on learning portion, which is the key to successful activities. Instead they tell you where to buy your hardware and there is no central company or agency that is responsible to helping make the programs teachers and students successful. Schools must buy all the parts and pieces from different places, except for the software comes through PLTW. There are many people making money off this and many programs failing. But they sure know how to market PLTW and get schools to jump on the band wagon.This will be phased out in the next 4 – 5 years. We need to think longer term and jobs related and not worry about what makes out school look good for right now.