The Case for Being Bold: What Business Should Do to Improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education

A New Report by AEI Scholars and the US Chamber of Commerce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2011

A new report outlining the path American businesses should follow to ensure the success of science, technology, engineering, and math (known as STEM) education was released yesterday at a national summit of business and education leaders hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce. Authored by AEI's director of education policy studies, Frederick (Rick) M. Hess, with Andrew P. Kelly and Olivia Meeks, the study explains what US businesses should do to secure American economic health for generations to come by preparing US students for the workforce of the future.

The report comes at a crucial time when American students continue to struggle to be proficient and competitive in STEM subjects, especially compared to their international peers. The 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment exam, for example, ranked US students 25th in math and 17th in science literacy.

"Most proposals for reforming STEM education are constrained by outdated, 19th-century models of schooling and teaching. In The Case for Being Bold, we suggest ways for reformers to harness new tools, talent, and technologies to achieve significant improvements," explained AEI's Rick Hess.

Commissioned by the US Chamber's National Chamber Foundation, the report details how the American business community can use its credibility, political heft, and role as the employer of America's science, technology, engineering, and math talent to apply innovative thinking and actions to areas such as academic standards, human capital, and new school models.

Former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, now president of the US Chamber's Forum for Policy Innovation, concluded at the summit, "It is clear that we, the business community, must be innovative if we are to re-ignite the fires of innovation. Instead of continually reinventing the wheel, we must re-imagine our schools, revise how we recruit and train our teachers, and rethink the stale strategies that have caused stagnation in academic achievement. If we do not dare to be bolder in STEM education, we risk losing even more ground globally."

Rick Hess is available for interviews and can be reached through Jenna Schuette at jenna.schuette@aei.org or 202.862.5809. For additional help, or for other media inquiries, please contact Veronique Rodman at vrodman@aei.org or 202.862.4871.

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