This site is about solving this paradox: Why is there such a mismatch between the job openings today and the skills of students getting out of school? Remember this memorable language in the Reagan-era report on education?
The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people…If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.
The report singled out an ongoing weakness in science education in the US. Since Russia beat the US in the first step of the Space Race in the 50’s launching Sputnik, our nation has struggled to reform and upgrade our STEM education. And while it’s an ongoing battle of reform, it seems that we have continued to fumble the ball. Why do I say this?
Today, unemployment hovers at way-too-high-rates: 8% of the country is on unemployment benefits, untold millions have fallen off the unemployment rolls, settled for mediocre jobs, or just stopped looking for work. Yet hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of career openings go unfilled or filled by foreigners because Americans lack the technical skills for so many of the jobs of today or tomorrow. It’s just weird. As a small business owner, I am constantly looking for technical talent and am paying for the expense and hassle of filing for an HB1 visa since I can’t find the local talent that I need. These are good career path jobs, we’ll pay good $$$’s with benefits for a good programmer right out of college and to my amazement, there are virtually no candidates!
Why? Why aren’t American students doing the smart thing and learning to program computers so they can have great jobs and careers? I think the solution has to do with the educational system and curriculum which continues to miss this point. Calculus is required for most competitive colleges but a programming course is not.
This blog is an exploration of this problem with a focus on solutions that can be implemented today by states, school districts, schools, teachers, and families.
Disclosure: This site has both a mission-driven advocacy and a commercial aspect to it. The writer is involved in commercial science curriculum so readers should be aware that there is a promotional intent of this site. We are supported by Science4Us.com and Time4Learning.com