News

Competition essential to solving U.S. STEM gap

By Laura Devaney
December 30th, 2014

Reform, not funding, key to engaging students in STEM

STEM-reportDeveloping a rigorous vetting process for talented teachers and opening up school choice options are paramount to engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to a new report by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Research Fellow Lloyd Bentsen IV.

“It’s important to remember that real education reforms are necessary to effectively engage our students in the education process,” says Bentsen. “Finding and retaining more talented teachers and allowing students to choose the school that makes them the most comfortable are both key to engaging students in difficult subjects like STEM-related education.”

“There is a growing shortage of STEM-skilled workers, but many STEM graduates are not working in STEM fields. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and other data, total STEM employment in 2012 was 5.3 million (immigrant and native), while there are over 12.1 million STEM degree holders (immigrant and native). Only one-third of employed native-born Americans with an undergraduate STEM degree actually work in a STEM occupation,” according to the report.

(Next page: Key recommendations in the report)