Science

Miles to Go....

By Sean Cavanagh — July 15, 2008 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A couple years ago, a bunch of leading business organizations set an ambitious goal: “Double the number of U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates with bachelor’s degrees by 2015.”

But as those leaders frankly acknowledged this week, the nation has barely moved toward hitting that mark so far.

The United States produced 223,255 such grads in 2005, and that number had only risen to 225,660 by 2007, reported the members of Tapping America’s Potential, the business coalition. That’s light years removed from their goal of reaching 400,000 by 2015. Several members of TAP, as they call themselves, assembled at the Washington offices of the Business Roundtable on Tuesday, where they released a report that summed up the situation this way: “Gaining Momentum, Losing Ground.”

The nation’s overall progress in addressing STEM issues, of keen interest to businesses, is mixed, attendees said. On the one hand, individual STEM initiatives, undertaken by state and local governments, philanthropies, and other organizations, are taking hold across the country. The event this week highlighted a few of them. One such program is the National Math and Science Initiative, a corporate-backed effort to replicate 1) the “U Teach” math and science teacher-training program, and 2) Advanced Placement “incentive” programs, which reward students and teachers for participating in AP. Another discussed was the Ohio STEM Learning Network, backed by the Battelle and Gates foundations, a statewide effort to create STEM-themed schools and raise the skills of the state’s workforce.

On the negative side of the ledger, the assembled business leaders pointed to the fact that Congress has not provided funding for many of the STEM-themed programs in the America Competes Act, a bipartisan bill President Bush signed into law last year. It supports the creation and expansion of several teacher-training and -recruitment programs. They were also unhappy that Congress has not backed legislation allowing more skilled immigrants to remain in the United States on H1B visas, a step some corporations regard as crucial to filling high-tech jobs.

Attempts to change that visa policy have been crippled in recent years by rancorous congressional debates over immigration legislation. Attendees at this week’s session were not optimistic about their prospects on the H1B issue in the near-term.

“The environment is so toxic,” John Castellani, the president of the Business Roundtable, told the group, “it cannot be addressed until after the election.”

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Science Opinion Four Good Science Teaching Strategies & How to Use Them
Three science educators share their "go-to" teaching strategies, including encouraging student talk & implementing project-based learning.
11 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Science Opinion The Three Most Effective Instructional Strategies for Science—According to Teachers
Three science educators share their favorite instructional strategies, including incorporating a sense of play in their classes.
9 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Science Make Science Education Better, More Equitable, Says National Panel
States must take steps to ensure that all students get a fair shot at learning science, says the National Academies of Science report.
3 min read
Illustration of father and child working on computer.
Getty
Science Q&A Many Schools Don't Teach About the Science of Vaccines. Here's Why They Should
Schools play an important role in confronting misinformation and mistrust in vaccines by helping students understand how they work.
7 min read
Ainslee Bolejack, freshman at Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas, prepares to receive her first COVID-19 vaccine on May 17, 2021, at Topeka High. Unified School District 501 held a clinic at all their high schools welcoming students now 12-years-old and up to receive their vaccination.
Freshman Ainslee Bolejack prepares to receive her first COVID-19 vaccine on May 17, 2021, at Topeka High School in Kansas. Unified School District 501 held a clinic at all its high schools for students 12 and older to receive their vaccinations.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP