One-half of 1 percent. That’s how many Georgia students complete a computer science course as part of their high school curriculum. In an economy where every business is becoming a technology company - whether it’s a worldwide airline utilizing advanced logistics or a bicycle repair shop analyzing social media trends - it’s abundantly clear that we need to increase our focus on technological learning.
It was my great pleasure to be invited by Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein, ASTRA’s Advisor and Futurist, to participate in the “STEM on the Hill” reception on April 2, 2019 in the Russell Office Building, co-hosted by The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America. I was delighted to attend because, like ASTRA and its partners, I recognize the prescient words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who just four days before his assassination in 1968, described “a triple revolution,” one of which was “… a technological revolution, with the impact of automation and cybernation….”(“Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” March 31, 1968, http://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/). Those words reinforce our current need to identify issue areas, innovative policies and organizational processes to help secure Dr. King’s visions of a cybernation.
You have STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Then there's STEAM, with the 'A' standing for arts. "We need to bring the arts into the STEAM because that's what's giving the creativity to be creative and to incorporate that into the STEM process," said Syracuse Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea. But, that's not the feeling across the board.
In some ways, tech’s equity gaps reflect a simple supply and demand imbalance. But it is an imbalance with artificial constraints. Because while Black and Hispanic students now earn computer science degrees at twice the rate that they are hired by leading tech companies, they are all but invisible to most recruiters.
Betsy DeVos has spent much of her tenure as education secretary pushing alternatives to the traditional college experience. The nation should do much more, she has said, to expose students to occupational skills training that has long been stigmatized in favor of a four-year degree. Career and technical education, which was once known as vocational training, has shed some of that stigma thanks in part to growth of new fields in communications, health care and engineering.
As an African American, first-generation college graduate, I have slowly come to recognize the competitive advantage that a lab tech CTE program will provide my daughter. I had my reservations, based on the history of African Americans and vocational education, but could not argue with the outcomes or options. I believe the time has come for black students and college administrators to reconsider the value of CTE as a viable career pathway and untapped source of diverse students, respectively.
eSchool News recently spoke with Vince Bertram, the chief executive officer of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), which has been bringing real-world and hands-on STEM learning into the classroom for 22 years, about the importance of STEM education.
The Meyerhoff Scholars program has been called the “gold standard” for providing a path into STEM research for African Americans, Hispanics, and economically disadvantaged white students who are underrepresented in the field. It has also been credited with changing the culture of the campus at UMBC.
In 2018, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) administered a nationally representative assessment of technology and engineering literacy (TEL) at eighth grade. TEL was a fully digitally based assessment that asked students to solve real-world technology and engineering problems.
Though less likely to study in a formal technology or engineering course, America’s girls are showing more mastery of those subjects than their boy classmates, according to newly released national education data. Known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” the latest findings made public Tuesday from the National Assessment of Educational Progress also shows U.S. eighth-graders in 2018 did significantly better overall compared to 2014′s test results, particularly among students who are white, black, Asian or low-income.