The National STEM Teacher Shortage Threatens Future Prosperity

realclear education | April 04, 2019

America’s competitiveness in the global economy depends on our ability to remain at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological production. Innovation in the STEM fields is so important to the national interest that, for decades, it has been a major priority for presidential administrations, state governments, business and industry leaders, and the education community, as exemplified by the federal five-year STEM strategic plan released earlier this month. Our collective investment in STEM speaks to a stark, enduring truth: if America does not produce the next generation of breakthrough discoveries and technologies, or a STEM workforce capable of doing so, we will be eclipsed by more ambitious nations.Perhaps we already have been. Although American institutions and business continue to drive innovation in STEM fields, the ability of our public education system to sustain the pipeline of STEM talent that enables such innovation is very much in doubt. For years, educators, policymakers, and the public have watched with alarm as American students are consistently outperformed in STEM by their international peers. But even as we have rushed to strengthen STEM education at all levels in the U.S., we have not done enough to address one of our most fundamental obstacles. We do not have nearly enough STEM teachers in our public schools.

Spotlight

The Fluid Power Challenge is a series of math and science competitions, providing valuable STEM educational experiences. The challenge is an interactive way to introduce students to the fascinating world of hydraulics and pneumatics.

Spotlight

The Fluid Power Challenge is a series of math and science competitions, providing valuable STEM educational experiences. The challenge is an interactive way to introduce students to the fascinating world of hydraulics and pneumatics.

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