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Fortifying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education: A National Policy

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Our nation is going through an education reform with a focus on the knowledge and skills for the jobs of the future. The White House issued this statement, "The strength of the American economy is inextricably linked to the strength of America's education system. Now more than ever, the American economy needs a workforce that is skilled, adaptable, creative, and equipped for success in the global marketplace."

Mathematics., Digital ID 1644946, New York Public LibraryThe following information is excerpted from The White House—Reform for the Future.

President Obama has consistently called for improvement in STEM education to move America's students to the top of the pack by enabling all students to learn deeply and think critically in science and math; expanding STEM education opportunities for students from all backgrounds, and building partnerships among educators, businesses and community partners to support advances in STEM education.

Obama's Administration has promoted several successful STEM initiatives, including

  • Prioritizing STEM education in Race to the Top, which is a K-12 education reform program in raising standards and aligning policies and structures to the goal of college and career readiness.
  • Investing in Innovation fund
  • Improving the coordination of STEM education initiatives between the Department of Education and National Science Foundation.
  • Promoting over 100 industry partners in their efforts to boost STEM learning through Change the Equation, which is a part of the Educate to Innovate education reform program.

Obama's administration has focused the STEM agenda further in 2012 to address the following two goals:

  • Excellent teachers, with content knowledge, mastery of how to teach the content, and ability to motivate students in STEM subjects and careers
  • Improving undergraduate STEM teaching, setting a trajectory of producing one million additional STEM degrees over the next decade, as recently recommended by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

The President has issued a national challenge to prepare 100,000 effective STEM teachers and has requested $80 million for a competition by the Department of Education to support effective STEM teaching preparation programs.

Change the Equation, a part of Educate to Innovate campaign, is a CEO-led effort as a response by the business community to the President's "call to action" at the National Academy of Sciences in spring 2009 for all Americans to join the cause of elevating STEM education as a national priority essential to meeting the economic challenges of this century. Change the Equation is in a unique position to meet its three goals of:

  • Great teaching: Improving STEM teaching at all grade levels.
  • Inspired Learners: Inspiring student appreciation and excitement for STEM, especially among women and under-represented minorities
  • A Committed Nation: Achieving a sustained commitment to improving STEM education.

Change the Equation: New public private partnerships and commitments:

  • "Youth Inspired Challenge" by a coalition of science centers and museums
  • Transforming Libraries and Museums into 21st Century Learning Labs.
  • National STEM Video Game Challenge
  • Raytheon's New STEM Tool for State Policymakers
  • National Math Science Initiative's (NMSI) To Assist Military Families
  • Nature Publishing's "Bridge to Science" Program for Parents and Scientists
  • New Efforts to Bring Passions of Scientists and Engineers into Classrooms
  • Multi-Year Investments in STEM Programs

STEM jobs are good now and for the future. However, STEM careers are not for everyone. If you are not sure what kind of career to pursue, why not try the Job Search Central post, Resources for Choosing a Satisfying Career, and Where the Jobs Are: U.S. Employment Projections, these blog posts may help you make an important decision in your career development.

For more information on STEM education, please visit Job Search Central at 188 Madison Avenue and 34th Street.

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