A common mistake in Washington is thinking about U.S.-China competition through a Cold War mentality that views Beijing as an adversary that we can contain and isolate like the Soviet Union. The United States and China are economically intertwined in a way that America and the Soviet Union never were and that America and Russia are not today. Regardless of presidential tweets saying that "we don't need China" andthatU.S. companies should find alternative markets, decoupling from China in the global economy is simply unrealistic and would be in neither country’s interest.
I don't doubt that there are STEM majors who are plodding through their degrees out of a sense of obligation to a future high-paying career-- Lord knows, I've seen them in classes. I don't think they're in the majority, though. Most STEM students have picked their major subject because something about it catches their interest or fires a passion for that subject, not for a future paycheck. This is especially true of those who persevere to the level of graduate study...
The Trump administration has been clear about its view of China. A 2017 national security strategy document called China a “revisionist” power attempting to reorder international politics to suit its interests. It’s difficult to think otherwise given Beijing’s military buildup, its attempts to undermine American influence and power, its retaliations against American allies such as Canada, and its economic actions.
As I write this, renegade genetic engineers in California and Minnesota are creating pig-human and sheep-human chimeras whose vital organs are human. They are doing it against the wishes of and without any funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But they’re reportedly motivated by a noble cause: to create a limitless source of body parts for patients in need of them.
More than most people realize, K-12 is often a realm of duplicity. The main strategy is to pretend to care about a subject or skill, but in fact to undermine it. The educrats dissemble even as grades plummet, until the public is thoroughly confused about which reforms might actually work. Despite endless chatter and assurances, there seems to be no genuine attempt to improve K-12. Quite the opposite.
Most patriotic Americans riled at witnessing million dollar athletes take a knee or raise a clenched fist at the playing of our National Anthem. Now imagine depicting one of America’s proudest moments within our history (and within humankind) namely Astronaut Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and planting “Old Glory” on its surface, purposely being obliterated because of political correctness.
The U.S. is about to spend a small fortune on teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The White House has promised $200 million a year to expand K-12 computer-science education. Several large tech firms have pledged another $300 million to the effort. That’s a good investment in theory, but the American education system is in no position to make the most of it.
Instead of prioritizing technology first, we need to teach students how to think and adapt, how to communicate and ask questions. Childhood is a cherished, sacred time — one for sparking imagination. Indeed, the purpose of K-12 education has expanded beyond offering just content and now entails equipping students with life skills.