Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why is America falling behind in science and technology education? Your thoughts

Bobby_Braun Bobby Braun
by NASA
http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_18479811 To revitalize our economy, we must focus on programs that foster innovation and advancements in science and technology.


Amy Lee I don't believe our level of technology would be were it is today without someone pushing and dreaming the impossible. I understand our world is in termoil and funds could be used in other areas of science and economical growth but where there is a will, there is a way!!

Amy Lee Ok, I really didn't answer the question. Why are Americans falling behind in SC & TECH? We have never backed down from a challenge, we have the most educated people on the job but funding is a big issue.


Amy Glockner I think there has been a huge shift in our focus in education. Shifting towards standardized testing. That was something I detested as a student when they first started (I still firmly believe that if a class is taught to a test and you get a 96% on the pretest, you should not be required to take the class! I still resent that class to this day.) Teaching to a test teaches students how to pass the test, not to do critical thinking. You can't test critical thinking in the same way, and that is really the key thing that allows us to grow in science - trial and error is really the key.

Besides that, I am not sure that the comparisons that we make are really fair. We are constantly being compared to countries like China. That is a completely unfair comparison. In China, they give tests to students and only those that pass the tests can proceed to the next level. So the fact that Chinese HS students are doing better may be only because those are the best Chinese HS students. We aren't comparing the test scores of our gifted students only. The fact that we are in the ballpark with China is pretty amazing. This country has a philosophy that all children should be educated. In the end, that means the most average American has a much better shot at being successful than the most average student from another country that does not have free public education for all.


DL Mullan we teach to test not to learn. nclb is a joke and should be revoked. we need to teach music and art with the three r's. why music is math. art is math. both are creative and stretch the mind to think beyond words in books. we need to get theater and poetry back into our children's education as well as get pe back. children's bodies are as important as their minds. our whole education system is geared toward making megacorporations happy... not us. they just want our children to press buttons and file and not be able to critically think, which helps the politicians too. when i lived in san diego, i was learning how to draw, to make candy in elementary school. in 6th grade i was in an orchestra that was going to go to contests. i played violin. came to az... no orchestra... art was behind by years until 7th grade. and no japanese plays or poetry. i was so confused and bored. i wish the states had a better way to get everyone to learn about the same things... but instead az tested me for the gifted program. hmmm, i wonder why? search online for: dumbing down america, it's real interesting to see how this disintegration of our education system is on purpose.

Crystal Rova While I dislike NCLB and wish it did not exist, I do not believe that particular program can be blamed for America's decline in Sc & Tech. That paradigm shift started a long time ago... It has more to do with societal changes. Mass marketing is partly to blame as they long ago dubbed smart people as 'uncool.' Political pandering is partly to blame; many polititians will vote against evolution or science in general as they accept funding from religious entities. Parents are partly to blame - where did the involvement go?? Oh wait, people forgot to make time for thier children when inlfation & keeping up with the Jones turned the bulk of society into two income households. There is more but I run the risk of boring everyone if I continue...




New York Times human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof drops in on "his beloved old high school in Yamhill, Ore.," and finds it beleaguered by budget cuts. The experience prompts him to contemplate the decline of America's belief in the importance of broad, public education and to question government spending priorities:
How is it that we can afford to double our military budget since 9/11, can afford the carried-interest tax loophole for billionaires, can afford billions of dollars in givebacks to oil and gas companies, yet can't afford to invest in our kids' futures?

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