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Supporting a Confident Future in the Rise of the STEM Workforce

This week there’s been a lot of talk about what we can do as a nation to peak students’ interest in STEM fields and provide them with the best education to prepare them to succeed in the competitive workforce.
In the article, Regaining Our Lead in STEM education on Roll Call online, Tom Luce opined that one of the answers our nation might be turning to is immigration reform. Recently, lawmakers proposed we include high-skilled foreign workers to help us fill the need in STEM careers while also addressing the long-term need to develop the next generation of U.S. STEM professionals by investing in STEM education. Here are some additional key points from the article:
•U.S. ranks 25th in math and 17th in science
•Enrollment in computer science AB AP test grew by only 12%
•Shortage of workers and students proficient in math
•U.S. will not be able to fill 3 million STEM jobs without immediate action
•Some educators that teach math and science did not major in those fields and some have no certification to teach math and science
•Need to improve AP exam scores - NMSI’s AP program produced a 135% increase in passing AP scores in math and science
“Anyone can recognize the truly distressing news in this equation: Just as the nation needs to redouble its efforts in education, especially in STEM fields because of economic realities, a majority of states are not even able to maintain the status quo,” said Tom Luce, Chairman and Founding CEO of NMSI.
We need to find more opportunities for growth in these fields – especially among minorities and women - to find a permanent solution to meeting the future needs of our economy and workforce. Teacher education also has a lot do with it. More students need rigorous, pedagogy-driven courses that promote science and math and more teachers need the education and training to help them get there.