Building Momentum Toward Equity and Excellence

Connecting to Your Work

How can you mobilize to help the nation improve math and science education for all students? Read recommended actions from The Opportunity Equation report. MORE
 

We must raise the bar in education and rethink the design of school if we want excellent math and science learning for all students. The Opportunity Equation report provides a roadmap for this vision with recommendations for key stakeholders. MORE

 

Common Core Standards: Why Did States Choose to Adopt?

We hear from: Former Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), Education Commissioners Eric J. Smith (FL) and Mitchell D. Chester (MA), and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Chester Finn. MORE
 

 

Common standards, linked with rigorous assessments, set the bar for all students—from struggling to advanced—to master academically rigorous content and succeed in the global economy. MORE

 

Youth Unlikely To Pursue Science, Technology, Engineering Jobs, Survey Finds

Huffington Post
1/25/2012

Though President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address stressed the need for a competitive workforce, especially in more technical fields such as energy, young Americans see massive barriers to entering such professions, according to survey results released Wednesday.

Sixty percent of respondents ages 16 to 25 to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, which seeks to gauge innovation aptitude among young adults, named at least one factor that prevented them from pursuing further education or work in science, technology, engineering and math fields (known as STEM). Thirty-four percent said they "don't know much about these fields," while a third said "these fields are too challenging." Twenty-eight percent said they weren't "well-prepared in school to seek out a career or further ... [their] education in these fields."

Meanwhile, 47 percent of respondents noted that a lack of innovation "would hurt the U.S. economy" and 80 percent said they'd be interested in courses that would help them "become more inventive and creative." While 26 percent noted they're motivated to choose careers for stability, 22 percent said they would be inspired by jobs that would give them a chance "to change the world."

"It's reassuring: youth are invested in helping others. They want to be altruistic. It gives us cause to be optimistic," said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, a Massachusetts Institution of Technology-based group that administered the survey for the 16th year. "At the same time, we found there's a real lack of knowledge in STEM education and the things that motivate young people to go into."

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