U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, a Michigan Republican and a champion of improving education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, has announced plans to step down at the end of this term, my colleague Alyson Klein is reporting over at the Politics K-12 blog.
He joins Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee, the Democratic chairman of the House Science Committee, another strong proponent of STEM education who is leaving Congress after this term. I noted Gordon’s planned departure in a recent blog item on his plans this year to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act, which includes a heavy emphasis on bolstering STEM education.
To toss in some sheer speculation, it could be that the departure of Ehlers, who before getting into politics was a nuclear physicist, will add greater urgency on the Republican side of the aisle to pass the legislation this year. The measure won strong bipartisan backing when first approved by Congress in 2007.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.