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Romney on Math, Science, and the Economy

By Michele McNeil — January 16, 2008 1 min read

The day Republican Mitt Romney seemed to catch fire by winning the Michigan primary, the National Science Board released a report that resulted in this New York Times headline:

“Global Advances Challenge U.S. Dominance in Science.”

Dig deep into the report, released by the governing board of the National Science Foundation, and you’ll find that student performance in math and science is both encouraging and depressing, while one big (and not surprising) problem persists: An achievement gap between minority and nonminority students in those two subjects doesn’t improve as they progress through school, and in some cases, gets worse.

Today, a day after his win, Romney was in South Carolina talking up how he will make America economically stronger and more competitive.

To his credit, the former Massachusetts governor links education to a strong economy. And, he realizes that math and science education are key to remaining competitive globally. He says he will “emphasize math and science education” if elected president. But his plan suffers for a lack of details (and I went searching on his Web site, to no avail.) Time after time, we read that American students are lagging in math and science, which are considered keys to our economic survival and prosperity, even as other candidates maintain that the arts need a more prominent place in the curriculum. Though Romney has a good idea, how will he emphasize these subjects? Will he offer grants to states? Will he set up national programs for teacher recruitment in these areas? Tell us more.

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