On January 7, 2010, in the East Room of the White House, President Obama honored 120 teachers and mentors for “inspiring and educating a new generation in math and science.” The President was quick to point out that all of us have a responsibility to help build an education system that meets the needs of all students, today and for generations to come.|
He stressed that the future of the United States’ leadership in scientific discovery and technological innovation -- and thereby its competitiveness in the world economy -- hinges on how our students are educated today, particularly in the STEM fields. Results from a recent international test show that U.S. students are being outmatched by their competitors (U.S. 15-year-olds ranked 21st in science and 25th in math out of 30 countries tested, for example). The President has set a goal “to move from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math education over the next decade.”
A key part of the President’s plan is to improve the way we recruit, train, support, and retain good teachers. When the Recovery Act became law last year, the Federal government made its largest investment in education in history. It staved off the firing of 300,000 teachers and school workers prompted by state budget shortfalls. Other grants for “innovative programs to train new teachers” will be awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, the Department initiated a $4 billion Race to the Top fund that States will compete for by creating innovative programs, especially in science and math education.
President Obama explained that he’s expanding the “Educate to Innovate” campaign – a nationwide effort by citizens, nonprofits, universities, and companies to help improve math and science education.” To augment the multimillion-dollar initiatives by Intel and Dell, the President is asking all 200,000 scientists who work for the Federal government to participate in the campaign. He wants scientists to do whatever they can in their communities to advance science and math education, including speaking at schools, judging at science fairs, and “creating hands-on learning opportunities through efforts like National Lab Day.” The hope is that today’s scientists will ignite in students the same interests that drove them to pursue careers in science.
By: Paul | September 11 2009 | Category: Issues in Education
In a televised speech to the nation’s school children on Wednesday, President Barack Obama urged all students to meet their obligations to themselves and their country by doing their best and achieving their personal goals. The President touched on the competitiveness of the world economy when he told students that they will be competing not just with each other for jobs, but with skilled students from around the world. He emphasized the importance of staying in school when he said, “You can’t just drop out of school and drop into a good-paying job.” He made it clear that students will need a good education to get a good job.|
The President encouraged his viewers first to have education goals, then to commit to them and achieve them. Students have to prepare themselves for their futures, he said, when they will be able to help out and bear some of the load for solving the world’s problems and needs--whether that’s discovering a new disease-curing medicine or inventing the next iPod technology.
In addressing students about their educational responsibility, the President was welcoming into the education discussion the group that stands most to benefit from the current public and legislative debate over education funding, priorities, standards, and laws. As educators, parents, and elected officials work to provide 21st-century educational opportunities for our students so that they can compete on a level field with their international peers, the President took time yesterday to impress upon students their own vital role and responsibility in the education process.