So this is a breakthrough of sorts: State and SUS leaders have decided that somehow they have to prioritize the education of STEM majors in the universities – or at least remove the disincentives for majoring in STEM fields and educating STEM majors.
But with the chaotic policy-making on this issue taking place, there is peril: If we simply offer incentives for students to major in STEM fields at the universities without requiring these students to prepare better for these majors in high school, we will simply be attracting more weak students into the difficult STEM majors.
Politically, this is the path of least resistance, since the university leadership can make this happen without butting heads with the already besieged K-12 establishment.
The challenge for university leaders is now to make it possible for their faculties to succeed in educating more strong STEM professionals – especially scientists and engineers – by requiring that all students attending the SUS institutions are STEM-ready.
I’m putting in the same old plots below – salaries for new bachelor’s degree grads, and the dependence of bachelor’s and STEM degree attainment of high school math and science course-taking. It seems they need to make an appearance again.
If you’re looking for a political document, here’s the article on STEM-readiness published in the Journal of the James Madison Institute (the article in on page 52).
If you want something a little more oriented toward the education community, here’s the article from The Physics Teacher: