"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bracey: "… the impending shortage of scientists and engineers is one of the longest running hoaxes in the country"

Posted at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/no-algebra-isnt-necessary--and-yes-stem-is-overrated/2012/08/26/edc47552-ed2d-11e1-b09d-07d971dee30a_blog.html#comments

Roger Schank: “ …we hear argument after argument about the need for more STEM education (pretending we don't have lots of unemployed science PhDs).”

Roger Schank’s observation is supported by reports that conclude that there is a surplus of STEM-trained professionals (Teitelbaum, 2007; Toppo and Vergano, 2009; Bracey, 2009; Berliner, 2011).

In fact, Gerald Bracey has stated that "… the impending shortage of scientists and engineers is one of the longest running hoaxes in the country" (Bracey, 2009).

In addition, the US ranks at or near the top of the world on all categories related to STEM education and availability of expertise: According to the World Economic Federation, the US ranks 5th out of 133 countries in "availability of scientists & engineers," second in "quality of scientific research institutions" and first in "university-industry research collaboration."

Berliner, D. 2011. The Context for Interpreting PISA Results in the USA: Negativism, Chauvinism, Misunderstanding, and the Potential to Distort the Educational Systems of Nations. In Pereyra, M., Kottoff, H-G. & Cowan, R. (Eds.). PISA under examination: Changing knowledge, changing tests, and changing schools. Amsterdam: Sense Publishers.
Bracey, G. 2009. Education Hell: Rhetoric Vs. Reality. Alexandra, VA: Educational Research Service.
Teitelbaum, M. 2007. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation. Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC, November 6, 2007
Toppo, G. and Vergano, D. 2009. Scientist shortage? Maybe not. USA Today, August 9, 2009

1 comment:

  1. More and more.

    2012: “There have been many predictions of [science] labor shortages and . . . robust job growth,” said Jim Austin, editor of the online magazine ScienceCareers. “And yet, it seems awfully hard for people to find a job. Anyone who goes into science expecting employers to clamor for their services will be deeply disappointed.” (from "U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there." Washington Post, 7/7/2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-pushes-for-more-scientists-but-the-jobs-arent-there/2012/07/07/gJQAZJpQUW_story.html)

    2012: "... according to the National Science Board’s authoritative publication Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, the country turns out three times as many STEM degrees as the economy can absorb into jobs related to their majors." (from "What Scientist Shortage?" Columbia Journalism Review, Jan/Feb 2012, http://www.cjr.org/reports/what_scientist_shortage.php?page=all)

    2010: “... 'We face a critical shortfall of skilled scientists and engineers who can develop new breakthrough technologies,' Microsoft chairman Bill Gates testified to Congress in March 2008. But many less publicized Americans, including prominent labor economists, disagree. 'There is no scientist shortage,' says Harvard University economist Richard Freeman, a leading expert on the academic labor force..." (from "Does the U.S. Produce Too Many Scientists?" Scientific American, 2/22/2010, http://www.scientificamerican.com)/article.cfm?id=does-the-us-produce-too-m&sc=WR_20100224

    2008: "If the United States really has a critical shortage of scientists and engineers, why didn’t this year’s graduates get showered with lucrative job offers and signing bonuses?"(from "What Shortage of Scientists and Engineers?" The New York Times, 10/17/2008, http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/what-shortage-of-scientists-and-engineers/)

    2007: "... our education system actually produces more science and engineering graduates than the market demands." (from "The Science Education Myth." Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/26/2007, http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-10-26/the-science-education-mythbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice)

    2005: "... the dire pronouncements about America's standing are greatly exaggerated." (from "Is the United States Really Losing the International Horse Race in Academic Achievement?" University of Pennsylvania Scholarly Commons, 5/1/2005, http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=gse_pubs)