Florida TaxWatch releases piece on STEM-ready high school grads

Florida TaxWatch has released my piece on ensuring that the state’s university-bound high school grads are STEM-ready.

From the Florida TaxWatch “E-communique”:

According to a recent report, Florida state will need “100,000 more science and technology professionals than we are on track to produce” during the next five years.  Of the 50,000 bachelors’ degrees awarded by Florida’s public universities each year, only 8,500 students are in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.  The state’s independent colleges and universities add another 1,200 bachelors’ degrees in engineering and information sciences to the total.  Because the number of STEM bachelors’ degrees produced each year in Florida is so small compared to the shortfall, it is clear that meeting Florida’s needs for science and technology professionals in the next decade will require a major shift in the culture and priorities of the state’s educational system.

Under the New Florida Initiative being pursued by the State University System’s Board of Governors, a substantial investment will be made in building the capacity of the state’s universities to educate STEM professionals.  However, the New Florida Investment will be wasted unless Florida’s public high schools dramatically increase the number of students they send to our universities who are both interested in science and engineering careers and well prepared for the rigor of undergraduate programs in those fields.  Doing so will require our high schools to recast their missions.  The core science subjects of biology, chemistry, and physics must become central to our high schools’ curricula and the preparation of every university-bound graduate for rigorous undergraduate programs in science and engineering fields must become a high priority for each high school.

This entry was posted in Bright Futures Scholarships, Florida Advanced Studies high school diploma, Florida Legislature, Florida universities, State University System and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Florida TaxWatch releases piece on STEM-ready high school grads

  1. Bob Calder says:

    I think nothing will happen in schools unless it can be persuasively put to principals that it is more important than one of their other priorities.

    Number one is school grade and the constituents of attendance, FCAT scores, AYP metrics, graduation rate, and AP-related points.

    Low ranking schools have as many as 10 to 15 percent staffing needs for remedial classes. At the high school level, other priorities have been set aside because neither the state nor the federal governments have thought both sets of priorities are worth supporting.

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