By Wheeler, Gerald
Issues in Science and Technology , Vol. 24, No. 1
Rep. Bart Gordon has been a champion of science and math in Congress, and we agree completely that the necessary first step in any competitiveness agenda is to improve science and math education ("U.S. Competitiveness: The Education Imperative," Issues, Spring 2007). For over two years now, scores of leading policymakers and business leaders have been calling for reforms in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and offering a myriad of suggestions on how to "fix the problem."
Before we can fix the problem, however, we have to do a much better job of explaining what is actually broken. A survey last year of over 1,300 parents by the research firm Public Agenda found that most parents are actually quite content with the science and math their child receives. Fifty-seven percent of the parents surveyed say that the amount of math and science taught in their child's public school is "fine." At the high school level, 70% of parents are satisfied with the amount of science and math education. …