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February 27th, 2006
America's Pressing Challenge - Building a Stronger Foundation
Science and Engineering Indicators has reported for almost a decade on the rapid growth in scientific and engineering (S&E) occupations in the United States. The 2006 edition now reports that by 2012, U.S. occupations in S&E fields are expected to grow by 1.25 million. That's 26 percent more than exist today, while a 15 percent increase is expected in all other jobs.
The National Science Board policy report, America's Pressing Challenge – Building a Stronger Foundation, has taken into account the changing global and national economic pictures and concluded in the strongest of terms that America's K-12 efforts in science and mathematics education have not responded to these changes. Over several decades, there have been ups and downs, but not steady improvement in K-12 math and science education. The board report is asking that the nation "recognize the existing crisis," and has called for a series of wide-ranging steps to improve the situation, which it calls "intractable." In addition, authors say that the nation "cannot wait until our students turn 18 years old to begin to produce the intellectual capital necessary to ensure this future (expanded) workforce."
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