"If we're going to be economically competitive and continue to innovate and create jobs, we have to get much, much better in STEM education," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "There's a huge sense of urgency."Stephen Krashen says:
Reduce poverty in order to improve science and math achievementMy very first blog post was about poverty's toll on educational outcomes.
Sent to the Washington Post, January 6, 2010
The recent push for more emphasis on science, technology and math education is based on American children's performance on international tests in math and science ("$250 million initiative for science, math teachers planned," Jan. 6). But studies have shown that American children in low-poverty schools outscore nearly all other countries on these tests.The problem is poverty, not a lack of high-powered science and math instruction.
U.S. children only fall below the international average when 75 percent or more of the students in a school live in poverty. Studies also confirm that hunger, poor diet, and a lack of reading material seriously affect academic performance. We have so many children who live in poverty that it profoundly affects the average test score: The United States has the highest level of childhood poverty of industrialized countries (25%, compared to Denmark's, 2%).