Important, But Not for Me: Kansas and Missouri Students and Parents Talk About Math, Science and Technology Education
Alison Kadlec and Will Friedman with Amber Ott
There is growing consensus among the nation's business, government and higher education leaders that unless schools do more to train and nurture a whole new generation of young Americans with strong skills in math, science and technology, U.S. leadership in the world economy is at risk. But our new report concludes that Kansas and Missouri parents and students didn't get the memo.
A recent study finds just 25% of Kansas/Missouri parents think their children should be studying more math and science; 70% think things "are fine as they are now." The report also explains why parents and students are so complacent in this area and what kinds of changes might be helpful in building more interest in and support for more rigorous MST courses. The report goes on to say,
While parents and students have a measure of appreciation for the role Science, Math and Technology will play in the future world of work, this appreciation remains thin, and relatively few seem to absorb the implications in a personal sense. Most parents do not see improving math, science and technology education as a top challenge facing their local schools, and most students do not come to these subjects with a strong sense of motivation and interest. There remains, in other words, a considerable "urgency gap" between leaders and experts on the one hand and parents and students on the other. Leaders need to make the cast that more advanced study in math, science and technology is now essential for all students -- not just a select few. They also need to think boldly and creatively about way to engage parents, students and teachers in increasing student interest and success in these critical subjects.
Read the full report at http://www.publicagenda.org/ImportantButNotforMe/pdfs/important_but_not_for_me.pdf