There’s quite a formidable propaganda chorus out there, charging that our public schools are doing an abysmal job, especially at teaching math and science. The aim here is to privatize the system, so that the corporations and/or Christianists can run the schools as they see fit.
Here, then, is an interesting report on how our public schools have actually been doing at the job of math and science instruction: very well indeed.
The Science Education Myth
Forget the conventional wisdom. U.S. schools are turning out more capable science and engineering grads than the job market can support Political leaders, tech executives, and academics often claim that the U.S. is falling behind in math and science education. They cite poor test results, declining international rankings, and decreasing enrollment in the hard sciences. They urge us to improve our education system and to graduate more engineers and scientists to keep pace with countries such as India and China.
Yet a new report by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, tells a different story. The report disproves many confident pronouncements about the alleged weaknesses and failures of the U.S. education system. This data will certainly be examined by both sides in the debate over highly skilled workers and immigration (BusinessWeek.com, 10/10/07). The argument by Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC), and others is that there are not enough tech workers in the U.S.