Competition Essential to Solve the STEM Education Gap in U.S
Reform, Not Funding, Key to Engaging Students: NCPA Study
December 12, 2014
Developing a rigorous vetting process for talented teachers and opening up school choice options are paramount to engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to a new report by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Research Fellow Lloyd Bentsen IV.
“With Computer Science Education Week coming to a close, it’s important to remember that real education reforms are necessary to effectively engage our students in the education process,” says Bentsen. “Finding and retaining more talented teachers and allowing students to choose the school that makes them the most comfortable are both key to engaging students in difficult subjects like STEM-related education.”
Because employers are facing a growing shortage of American STEM workers combined with the continued mediocre performance of American students in international rankings, Bentsen proposes engaging students by:
- Eliminating lecture-only classes,
- Opening up private school choice to allow students to connect with schools and teachers that best fit their learning styles, and
- Using free-market principles to improve teacher quality and pay.
“Engaging students in STEM fields is the key to encouraging economic growth and securing America’s competitive advantage,” says Bentsen. “Encouraging competition to bring out the best in our schools, teachers and students is the best way to truly invest in education.”