CEO's to lead the charge for STEM education... HUH?!?

Just came across this post from Mark Guzdial on his blog Computing Education Blog entitled Changing the Equation in STEM Education:
It’s great that the White House cares so much about STEM education.  $5M annually seems like a fairly small investment.  I’m hoping that the CEO’s involved will bring private resources to the problem.  Notice the heavy involvement of computing-related organizations: Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt and Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez. and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Today, President Obama announced the launch of Change the Equation, a CEO-led effort to dramatically improve education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as part of his “Educate to Innovate” campaign.  Change the Equation is a non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of STEM education in the United States.


The United States is falling behind our foreign competitors in STEM subjects.  According to one, study American 15-year-olds ranked 21st in science and 25th in math compared to other countries.  In his remarks to day, the President emphasized the importance of providing American students with a solid foundation in these subjects in order to compete in the global economy.



via Changing the Equation in STEM Education | The White House.

I have a number of questions that I would ask about this post and this initiative:

  • First of all, is $5 really enough?  How much is the Department of Defense budget now?

  • Do we really want CEO's to lead this charge?

  • Does CEO = educator and expert in pedagogy now?

  • What is this infamous one study?

  • Is this not the same argument (that we are, as a country, "behind") that was made, um, 60 years ago?

  • Is the business community the best place to initiate this change?

  • Is this really even a change?

  • What exactly does "competing in a global economy" mean?

  • Can innovation really be taught?  What does that look like again?

  • What are the other countries that were studied?  What are their cultures like?  Are they busy trying to  "beat" other countries?


I think we should change the equation.  But I don't know if this is the way we need to change it...

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