With midterm elections just over a month away, Congress averted another government shutdown on Wednesday by the House of Representatives passing 12 appropriations bills and sending the legislation to the president. The Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act of 2019 provides nearly $71.5 billion to the Department of Education, which is a $581 increase from the fiscal year 2018.
What does the declining birthrate mean for colleges and universities and the students who hope to get a college degree a decade from now? The answer depends on where you live in the United States and how selective the college is. For most colleges and universities, the outlook is grim. But that could be a good thing for their future students.
The study has significant implications for workforce preparedness and the US economy. By 2020, 77% of all jobs will require some degree of technological skills, and there will be one million more computing jobs than applicants who can fill them. That means there’s a growing need for workers trained in STEM skills but a shortage of graduates who have them. In fact, according to PwC’s annual CEO Survey, 79% of US CEOs are concerned that a shortage of people with key skills could impair their companies’ growth.
A study published this week by global consulting firm PwC finds that children are not prepared for jobs of the future, in part because teachers say they aren’t equipped to teach them higher-level tech skills.
SSTI analysis using data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reveals that approximately 60 percent of all new funds for S&E R&D at colleges and universities from 2008 to 2016 went to institutions in just three states: Maryland, California and New York.
Federal funding for S&E R&D grew by $7.2 billion from 2002 to 2016, reaching more than $31.6 billion. This represents a 29.4 percent increase during the period, or approximately 2.0 percent per year, according to an SSTI analysis of data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
As millions of students head back to school, families are probably wondering if those shiny new devices, apps, and even games that are becoming a typical part of the school day are good for learning. As an education researcher focused on blended learning, I am often asked if education technology “works.” The underlying question here for all of us, myself included, is: “Based on the current evidence, do I want my child’s educational experience to include ed tech?”
Developing the technology-enabled workforce has topped the discussion agenda for thought leaders in business, politics and policy. Now, that discussion is rapidly moving to the K-12 education system, where the next generation must prepare for a world in which advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will be the norm and not the novelty.
The education crisis cannot be solved by putting students in front of tablets. George Mason University professor of economics Tyler Cowen argues that if humans would follow rules and behave rationally, MOOCs might be the solution. The problem is we don’t. He suggests that students will not learn as efficiently when sitting alone in front of a computer than when surrounded by peers: Students learn better when they are within a community of learners.
Situated in West Oakland, the nonprofit Techbridge Girls works to expose girls from low-income communities to STEM. Environmental education is one of the topics the 18-year-old organization teaches girls, and its efforts in that area recently won $100,000 as the grand prize winner of the UL Innovative Education Award.