Thursday, March 22, 2007

Education Fails… Twice

State Lags In Technology

Kentucky ranks 47th among U.S. states in its per-capita number of working scientists and engineers. That's the "good" news. The state ranks even worse - 49th - in the number of science and engineering degrees conferred by its universities. That must improve, or, as the technology-driven global economy continues to emerge, India and China are going to eat our lunch.

Task force issues eight-point plan to improve math and science education

A statewide task force approved eight recommendations Tuesday to address what it called a "national crisis" in science and mathematics that is inhibiting the United States' ability to compete in a global economy. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Task Force, which goes by the acronym STEM, appointed by the state Council on Postsecondary Education, released its proposal in a press conference at Tates Creek High School.

The recommendations are: Launch a statewide campaign to increase public awareness of the urgency of the science and math problems and how they affect the state's economy. Create incentives, including pay for teachers, so that students, teachers and schools will be encouraged to improve learning in science, math and related fields. Intensify professional development for math and science teachers based on based on rigorous national and international standards.

Improve teacher education programs to encourage people with degrees in science, math and related fields to become teachers. Encourage business, industry and civic leaders to improve education in math, science and related fields and creative incentives for Kentucky businesses to employ students educated in those fields. Develop a coordinated statewide effort among state agencies, schools, colleges and universities to maximize Kentucky's ability to attract jobs in science, math and related fields. Make energy sustainability and alternative forms of energy a major goal stemming for the improvements in science, math and related fields. The STEM task force issued a 35-page report, which is available from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, 1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 320, Frankfort, Ky. 40601.

Kentucky education is horrific. The system’s failures are pronounced. Our Governor is… silent.

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