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STEM is incredibly valuable, but if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts

originally posted on: The Washington Post by Justin Brady
September 05, 2014

We’ve all heard it before, we are facing another crisis. This time it’s one of mammoth proportions, and not the wooly kind. Public education isn’t making the cut as high-tech jobs across the nation go unfilled. What’s a country to do? Knowing this challenge will only compound with time, policy leaders have acted. To compete in a global market place, our leaders are doing everything in their power to push a focus on STEM education. Sure, it’s great to see our leaders unite under a common goal, but are they going the wrong way down the field?

In 2011 the governor of my home state of Iowa, Terry Branstad, signed an executive order creating a STEM advisory council.

“An increased focus in science, technology, engineering and math will lead to higher achievement and better career opportunities” Branstad said. He’s not alone. Within the last few years, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill furthering STEM education and governors in Utah and Oklahoma have also got in on the action. Some states like Massachusetts announced initiatives as early as 2009.

President Obama has put a focus on STEM education with the White House’s Educate to Innovate initiative. The campaign is more than just a federal initiative, but has the combined effort of non-profits, corporations and science and engineering societies, garnering $700 million in public-private partnerships, getting 100 top CEOs on board and launching a new non-profit called Change the Equation and others.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is believed to be the answer for our high tech job shortage. It’s refreshing to see so many of our leaders finally uniting under a common goal. They see the value of developing our students into leaders who will solve challenging problems in our world and that’s a good thing.

Click here to read the full story at The Washington Post

Photo: Math and science matter, but that’s not all. (Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post)

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