54% of high school grads aren’t ready for college math. With the right math teacher training, you can ensure all of your students are prepared for success.

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Transform Education

American students are falling behind in the critical subjects of math and science, putting our position in the global economy at risk. Challenges facing education today in the United States include staying competitive, closing minority gaps, closing gender gaps, and improving teacher preparation. The National Math and Science Initiative is addressing all of these issues in order to keep America globally competitive in STEM education and the economy.

Challenges Facing STEM Education Today

  • U.S. students recently finished 25th in math and 17th in science in the ranking of 31 countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • The U.S. may be short as many as three million high-skills workers by 2018. Two-thirds of those jobs will require at least some post-secondary education. 
  •  The competitive edge of the U.S. economy has eroded sharply over the last decade, according to a new study by a non-partisan research group.
  • The prestigious World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. as No. 48 in quality of math and science education.
  • 25 years ago, the U.S. led the world in high school and college graduation rates. Today, the U.S. has dropped to 20th and 16th.

STEM Education Statistics: Closing Achievement Gaps

In order to remain globally competitive, the United States must take advantage of the talents of all of its workforce. Without increasing the numbers of minorities in STEM fields, the number of engineers and other STEM professionals will continue to decrease. It all starts with STEM education.

  • In 2004, the dropout rate for Hispanics is much higher than other ethnic groups. 
    • 24% of Latino 16-to-24-year-olds
    • more than double the dropout rate for blacks 
    • more than three times the rate of whites 
  • For those 12th graders seeking a bachelor's degree or higher, 51 percent of Latinos, 63 percent of Blacks, 65 percent of Whites, and 76 percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders will actually attain the degree.

STEM Education Statistics: Closing Gender Gaps

Women are being left behind in the critical fields of math and science. Women represent 48 percent of workforce, but only 24 percent of STEM jobs. American undergraduates who leave science and engineering majors for other majors are often highly qualified, and they are disproportionately women and minority students. Although the gender gap has narrowed over the years, males continue to outperform females on standardized tests of math and science achievement.

STEM Education Statistics: Improving Teacher Prep

About 1/3 of high school math students and 2/3 of those enrolled in physical science have teachers who did not major in the subject in college or are not certified to teach it. There is an essential need for investment in teacher preparation and professional development programs as a way to improve student achievement and produce a better-prepared workforce. The lack of certified science and math teachers is a growing concern for schools around the nation, especially in low-income areas. Competent and engaged teachers are needed to inspire students to pursue a career in math and science. 

If Americans continue to remain disengaged in these challenges facing education today, the United States' role as a leader in technology development and scientific research will continue to diminish. Addressing this issue starts with improving STEM education in America and inspiring and empowering students. Become engaged and find out more about The STEM Crisis.

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