Status of Science Education in the U.S.: On the Brink of Cultural Extinction Joe Evans April 16, 2013
Discussion Topics • Status of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Education in the U.S. • Factors contributing to the dismal performance. Is the U.S. on the brink of cultural extinction?
Headlines – Washington PostFebruary 11, 2011 The Myth of Declining U.S. Schools: They’ve Long Been Mediocre . . . by Jay Matthew
Results of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) . . . by Age Groups (ETS) Attending Schools in the . . . Ranked . . . fifties …………………………………. 2nd sixties ………………………………… 3rd seventies ……………………………. 5th nineties ……………………………… 14th
U.S. Department of Education's National Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation At Risk, 1983 “By the year 2000, U.S. students will be the first in the world in mathematics and science achievement."
Dr. Pascal Forgione, U.S. Commissioner of Education Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, 1996-1999 “All signs point to a deterioration in the quality of American schools. Europeans and Asians alike have rapidly expanded their educational systems over the last 50 years. In the United States, stagnation if not decline has been apparent at least since the 1970s.”
U.S lag in science, math a disaster in the makingWilliam J. Bennett, CNN Contributor – 2/9/2012 Indeed, when it comes to math and science, we don't just fail compared to other industrialized nations, we fail ourselves. Only 26% of our nation's high school seniors perform at proficient levels or above in mathematics and only 21% of our nation's high school seniors perform at proficient levels or above in science.
Underprepared Students need Developmental Education upon Matriculating into College • Half of the state's (Texas) 473,487 community college freshmen and a fifth of 103,900 public university freshmen matriculating in the coming weeks will need developmental education. (Statesman.com, Ralph K.M. Haurwitz, August 15, 2011) • Ninety-four percent of Chicago Public Schools graduates who go to city community colleges need remediation in math. Most also need to work on basic reading and writing skills. (EDBLOGS, Linking and thinking on education ,Joanne Jacobs) • Eighty-five percent of California’s incoming community college students aren’t prepared for college math and 70 percent aren’t ready for college English. (EDBLOGS, Linking and thinking on education, Joanne Jacobs)
U.S. Department of Education National Statistics • Nationally, 34% of all new entering college students and 43% of community college students required at least one developmental education class. • Many U.S. states enrolled between 30% and 40% of their student bodies in some form of developmental program, with some states reaching more than 50% participation in student remediation
Portland Press Herald Thursday, April 11, 2013 • Report: Maine grads more ready for college than others(January 17) • The new data shows that 12 percent of this year's freshmen in the University of Maine System who came from Maine high schools needed remedial work . . . compared to 24-39 percent for the rest of New England. • Maine's community colleges reported that 50 percent of this year's freshmen from Maine high schools needed remedial courses compared with an estimated average of 60 percent nationwide. • "I find it mind-boggling that anyone can suggest 50 percent is a success," said David Connerty-Marin (Director of Communication, Maine Department of Education)
Internationals Recruited for Advanced Degrees and STEM Workforce About 40,000 graduate degrees were awarded to foreign STEM students in 2009, with 10,000 of those going to Ph.D. recipients. Foreign-born residents in the United States makes substantial contributions to international patent creation (25.6% in 2006). 140,000 internationals and families on visas to perform work in the United States – the majority of them joined the STEM workforce.
From Learning Subject Matter and Patriotism to Social Re-engineering “The public schools lack focus; instead of concentrating on education, they dabble in social re-engineering.”Jean McLaughlin, President, Barry University “Half our job is education, and the other half is social work.”Superintendent, Miami-Dade (FL) School District
Unfavorable View of Academics • Terms of Endearment Geeks Nerds • In the 60s Diabolical old men – mad scientist – intent on blowing up the world Eccentric old men – unkempt, disheveled – the “Einsteinian” look
Science Curricula in the U.S.Dr. Schmidt, TIMSS Research Actual cause for the failure appears to be weak math and science curricula in U.S. middle schools. A typical U.S. eighth-grade math textbook deals with about 35 topics. By comparison, a Japanese or German math textbook for that age would have only five or six topics.
Negative Impact of Science-Religion Conflict on Science Teaching in U.S. That evolution is the central organizing principle of all the historical sciences is not a controversial issue among scientists, nor among most of the world’s educated persons. Consequently, the teaching of science worldwide stresses evolution as a routine matter. The United States is exceptional in this regard.
JON D. MILLER, EUGENIE C. SCOTT, SHINJI OKAMOTO – 2006 Science Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries
GOOD SCIENCE, BAD SCIENCE:TEACHING EVOLUTION IN THE STATESLAWRENCE S. LERNER, 2000
Huff Post EducationApril 11, 2013 • The Science and Engineering Readiness Index (SERI) measures how high school students are performing in physics and calculus -- based on publicly available data, including Advanced Placement scores, National Assessment of Educational Progress reports, teacher certification requirements by state and physics class enrollment data. • The SERI (range 1-5) was developed by Susan Wite from the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics and physicist Paul Cottle of Florida State University.
SERI Performance Compared to Quality of General Science Standards and General Biological Evolution Standards
Impact of Grade Inflation Times quoted an education advocacy group’s finding that “80 per cent of college students taking remedial classes [in 2008] had a high school GPA of 3.0 or better.”
National Average Grading Curves Versus Time for Public and Private Schools – 1960, 1980, 2007
Distribution of Grades at American Colleges and Universities as a Function of Time
How college students think they are more special than EVER: Study reveals rocketing sense of entitlement on U.S. campusesBy Daily Mail Reporter, January 2013 Young people's unprecedented level of self-infatuation was revealed in a new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has been asking students to rate themselves compared to their peers since 1966. About nine million young people have filled out the Survey since its inception. It asks students to rate how they measure up to their peers in a number of basic skills areas - and over the past four decades, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being "above average" for academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability and self-confidence.
BBC News January 3, 2013Does confidence really breed success?By William Kremer BBC World Service (Analyses by Psychologist Twenge & Associates) • A 2006 study led by John Reynolds of Florida State University found that students are increasingly ambitious, but also increasingly unrealistic in their expectations, creating what he calls "ambition inflation".
American Students Self-Assessments While the Freshman Survey shows that students are increasingly likely to label themselves as gifted in writing ability, objective test scores indicate that actual writing ability has gone down since the 1960s. (Twenge)
American Students Self-Assessments And while in the late 1980s, almost half of students said they studied for six or more hours a week, the figure was little over a third by 2009 - a fact that sits rather oddly, given there has been a rise in students' self-proclaimed drive to succeed during the same period. (Twenge)
Dr. Pascal Forgione “We currently base our high school policies on two contradictory assumptions: (1) adolescents are responsible enough to choose their own curriculum from the shopping mall of choices available, and (2) adolescents should not be held responsible for their performance. Testing expectations should be minimal, and graduation requirements should be easily achievable. No wonder the United States is desperately searching for ways to import talent from abroad.”
From Bondage . . . To Bondage From bondage to spiritual faith, From spiritual faith to great courage, From courage to liberty, From liberty to abundance, From abundance to selfishness, From selfishness to complacency, From complacency to apathy, From apathy to dependency, From dependency back again to bondage.