According to the most recent published Program for International Student Assessment (PSIA) data (2012), the U.S. ranks lower than 27 countries in math and 17 countries in science. The latest ACT results indicate that 56% of U.S. high school graduates are not college-ready in math, and only 36% of high school graduates are college-ready in science (Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013).
These sobering statistics are of great concern when you take into account that 92% of all U.S. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs are predicted to require a postsecondary education by 2018. Moreover, while only 4% of U.S. workers are in STEM careers, they create jobs for the other 96% of workers (Carnevale, Smith, & Strohl, 2010).
It is clear from statistics like these that students are going to need a strong foundation in the STEM subjects to be prepared for the jobs of the future; unfornately, it is also clear that schools today are not doing enough to rise to this challenge. Where are parents supposed to turn?
Yes, Math is Required
A strong foundation in math and science begins in elementary school, if not earlier. But how often have you or your child asked the question, “Why do kids have to learn about this math that they will never use outside of school?” While seemingly harmless, negative comments like these can actually steer children away from wanting to study subjects that involve math. Positive encouragement and an early, strong focus on the STEM subjects in school can instill confidence and interest in children at a young age that will serve them throughout school and in later careers.
Struggling in Public Schools
To address the well-documented low achievement of American students in math and science, the public is taking notice and demanding changes to the public school curriculum, with a special emphasis on the way teachers teach math. Often students leave high school thinking they “can’t do” math and even avoid pursuing college majors or careers dependent on math. This closes many doors that may otherwise have been open if these students had better math education.
Getting Help from a Charter School
STEM-based careers account for some of the top
- Creativity – Engineering and technological field use creativity in order to solve problems that have yet to be solved.
- Job security – Since well-educated mathematicians and engineers are relatively scarce at present, an individual who has a solid education in a related field will typically have an easier time finding a job.
- Accomplishment – One of the best aspects of the sciences and math fields is that there is a simple logic to them that can be learned. No one particular skill is needed, and kids with a range of abilities and strengths who work hard can accomplish great things.
Despite the attractiveness of such careers, the field is still dominated by white men. It is estimated that only 20 percent of positions are filled by minorities.
Opportunities for an Excellent Future
While not every child has a natural aptitude for STEM subjects, every student deserves the chance to excel. A student who is struggling in math or sicence may benefit from a different teaching method that his or her public school is not able to provide. By immersing your child in a STEM-focus, college-prep curriculum, school like that of Concept Schools, from a young age, you will help increase the chance that your child will pick up math concepts earlier and with less of a struggle.