Thursday, October 24, 2013

Interesting report -

"This report looks forward to the year 2020 and predicts the state of the American economy. Recovery 2020 provides vital labor market information such as which fields are expected to create the most jobs, the education requirements required to gain employment in the U.S., and the skills most coveted by employers.

Recovery 2020 finds that:
  • There will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020: 24 million openings from newly created jobs and 31 million openings due to baby boom retirements.
  • By educational attainment: 35 percent of the job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate’s degree and 36 percent of the job openings will not require education beyond high school.
  • STEM, Healthcare Professions, Healthcare Support, and Community Services will be the fastest growing occupations, but also will require high levels of post-secondary education.
  • Most jobs will require some type of post-secondary education, and individuals that only possess a high school diploma will have fewer employment options.
  • Employers will seek cognitive skills such as communication and analytics from job applicants rather than physical skills traditionally associated with manufacturing.
  • The United States will fall short by 5 million workers with postsecondary education – at the current production rate – by 2020.

The Opportunity Index is the nation’s first – and only – tool designed to provide a snapshot of what opportunity looks like at the state and county levels.
Using more than a dozen data points grouped into three different dimensions of opportunity - Jobs and the Economy, Education, and Community Health and Civic Life - the Index ranks every state and assigns almost every county in America a first of its kind Opportunity Score ranging from “A” for excellent to “F” for failing.  
Armed with this knowledge, engaged citizens and leaders at the local, state, and federal levels can identify concrete solutions to improve economic mobility at the ground level.  First launched in 2011, the Index will be issued annual giving leaders a way to track the progress of their efforts.
Visit to see where your state ranks, enter in your zip code to see what score your county earns, and check out whether your area improved in not since 2011.

"How well prepared are the students in my state in science and mathematics? Am I doing enough to help my child as a parent? What are the career opportunities in science and engineering fields? How much do science and engineering workers earn?

This website allows you to explore the answers to those and other questions, by providing easy access to data on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and related careers."

Designed for parents, this site has direct links to numerous reports and publications re: STEM.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baccalaureate Origins of U.S.-trained S&E Doctorate Recipients

Baccalaureate Origins of U.S.-trained S&E Doctorate Recipients

by Mark K. Fiegener and Steven L. Proudfoot[1]

Foreign institutions and U.S. research universities play large roles in the baccalaureate education of U.S.-trained science and engineering (S&E) doctorate recipients.[2] In 2011, about one-third (35%) of individuals earning S&E doctorates from U.S. universities held bachelor's degrees from foreign institutions, and 29% earned bachelor's degrees from U.S. doctorate-granting institutions with very high research activity[3] (table 1). Other doctorate-granting universities, master's colleges and universities, and baccalaureate colleges combined to account for another 28%. Among U.S. S&E doctorate recipients, the proportion with a foreign bachelor's degree increased 4 percentage points from 2002 to 2011, while the proportion with a bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution declined slightly over this period for each type of institution.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Next Generation Science Standards are now available.

The Next Generation Science Standards are now available.  Twenty-six states and their broad-based teams worked together with a 41-member writing team and partners throughout the country to develop the standards.
Download PDFs of the NGSS:
The standards are also available on Scribd.
The NGSS are composed of the three dimensions from the NRC Framework. Click on the links to the left to learn more about the standards

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Nation Advancing?

Book Cover"Following a 2011 report by the National Research Council (NRC) on successful K-12 education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Congress asked the National Science Foundation to identify methods for tracking progress toward the report's recommendations. In response, the NRC convened the Committee on an Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education to take on this assignment. The committee developed 14 indicators linked to the 2011 report's recommendations. By providing a focused set of key indicators related to students' access to quality learning, educator's capacity, and policy and funding initiatives in STEM, the committee addresses the need for research and data that can be used to monitor progress in K-12 STEM education and make informed decisions about improving it.

The recommended indicators provide a framework for Congress and relevant deferral agencies to create and implement a national-level monitoring and reporting system that: assesses progress toward key improvements recommended by a previous National Research Council (2011) committee; measures student knowledge, interest, and participation in the STEM disciplines and STEM-related activities; tracks financial, human capital, and material investments in K-12 STEM education at the federal, state, and local levels; provides information about the capabilities of the STEM education workforce, including teachers and principals; and facilitates strategic planning for federal investments in STEM education and workforce development when used with labor force projections. All 14 indicators explained in this report are intended to form the core of this system. Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Nation Advancing? summarizes the 14 indicators and tracks progress towards the initial report's recommendations."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Need a Job? Invent It

Need a Job? Invent It -

WHEN Tony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist, describes his job today, he says he’s “a translator between two hostile tribes” — the education world and the business world, the people who teach our kids and the people who give them jobs. Wagner’s argument in his book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World” is that our K-12 and college tracks are not consistently “adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.....................Every young person will continue to need basic knowledge, of course,” he said. “But they will need skills and motivation even more. Of these three education goals, motivation is the most critical. Young people who are intrinsically motivated — curious, persistent, and willing to take risks — will learn new knowledge and skills continuously."
Josh Haner/The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman

Monday, March 4, 2013

MIT report identifies keys to new American innovation

What kinds of industrial production can bring innovation to the American economy? An intensive, long-term study by a group of MIT scholars suggests that a renewed commitment to research and development in manufacturing, sometimes through creative new forms of collaboration, can spur innovation and growth in the United States as a whole.

"The findings are outlined in the preview of a report issued by a special MIT commission on innovation, called Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE). Among the approaches the report recommends are new forms of collaboration and risk-sharing — often through public-private partnerships or industry-university agreements — that can enable a wide variety of firms and industries to grow.

The report follows two years of in-depth research on hundreds of firms across various industrial sectors, ranging in size from high-tech startups to small “Main Street” manufacturers and multinational corporations. While there are a variety of reasons why the nation should seek to retain its own manufacturing base, from defense capacities to job creation, the report aims to highlight the larger potential that manufacturing holds for innovation-based economic growth in the United States.

“It has been suggested by previous reports that sustaining the strength of U.S. manufacturing is essential to America’s future; a strong advanced-manufacturing base is crucial to national security, and it represents a key source of good-paying jobs,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif says. “But as the PIE report makes clear, local production is very important to sustaining a vibrant innovation ecosystem in a region. Thus, we must also take steps now to regain U.S. manufacturing momentum if we want to sustain the nation’s signature economic advantage: innovation.”

Among other conclusions, the report emphasizes that manufacturing should not be regarded as a small group of traditional, shrinking industries. Instead, manufacturing is a diverse, evolving group of industries in which new products and knowledge frequently emerge from firms of all sizes throughout the country.

“There is no reason manufacturing has to disappear in an advanced industrial society,” says Suzanne Berger, the Raphael Dorman-Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science at MIT and a co-chair of the PIE commission. “There is much greater innovative capacity all across the United States than we realized.”

From Main Street to multinationals

The current report is based on the work of the 21-member PIE commission, formed in 2010, which includes 20 MIT faculty members. Two books on the subject are forthcoming from MIT Press in the fall.

“The work of PIE is trying to understand how producing goods feeds back into the innovation process,” says Martin Schmidt, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and associate provost at MIT, who served on the commission.

The commission conducted in-depth research on 255 manufacturing companies, of which 178 were located in the United States. Faculty members asked all of the companies a series of questions in order to find out what innovations firms had attempted to deliver in the last five years, and to determine which elements — capital, skilled workers, suppliers, or expertise — had been hard to find.

The commission interviewed officials at four types of companies: U.S.-based multinationals that invest heavily in research and development; startup firms; small-scale “Main Street” manufacturers that are local or regional in scope; and foreign firms in China and Germany."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Where are the STEM Students? What are their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs?”

STEM Connector released , “Where are the STEM Students? What are their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs?” (Get an executive summary here. The full 200+ page tome is for sale in the STEMConnector bookstore.)The report offers tantalizing new national and state-level data on how many students from different backgrounds are interested in STEM careers. It also cites previously published data on trends in STEM jobs.

Some Highlights
  • High school girls’ interest in STEM seems to be falling, even as interest among boys rises. The data suggests that girls’ interest in STEM peaked in the class of 2010 and has been dropping off since. This comes in direct contrast to the trend for boys, who have been showing more interest with every successive graduating class. This will come as bad news for all of us who have been working to get more girls into STEM
  • Students with a “B” average in high school are much less interested in STEM than those with a C average or less. Why would that be? Are we paying too little attention to good students even as we lavish attention on great students? The A students are most interested, which isn’t surprising.
  • Those who aim to go to technical or vocational school are much more likely to be interested in STEM careers than those who have set their sights on other kinds of colleges. Nearly four in ten students with plans for technical or vocational school are interested in STEM, compared to fewer than three in ten students who aspire to private colleges, for example. This is just another reminder that we should never minimize the value of technical school as we sing the praises of college.
  • Students with an interest in STEM are much less likely than their peers to express interest in child care or development. We still have work to do to get STEM students interested in teaching.
The report breaks out its student interest data by race, ethnicity and gender, STEM discipline, STEM occupation, and a number of other categories.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Official Launch of National STEM Students & STEM Jobs Report

Official Launch of National STEM Students & STEM Jobs Report

Washington, DC and Lee’s Summit, MO — Today STEMconnector® and My College Options® release a national report linking student interest in STEM education with STEM job opportunities. The new report — Where are the STEM Students? What are their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs? — identifies the STEM interests of more than one million U.S. high school students interested in pursuing STEM careers, and links them to increasing demand for over 16 million STEM jobs by 2018. It also provides in-depth profiles of more than one million students interested in STEM majors and careers with breakouts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report is designed to motivate students interested in STEM careers by providing a breakdown of “hot” STEM jobs, salary figures, and a projection of the future STEM job market.
STEMconnector® and My College Options® will host a Town Hall discussion on the Report and officially release the publication on January 30, 2013 at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) headquarters in Washington, D.C. at 3:00 pm EST. The event will also be hosted online via WebEx. To register please visit Digital and printed versions of the report will be available for purchase, as well as a free executive summary, available now at My College Options Vice-President, Ryan Munce notes, “The career interests and demographic profile of over one million students interested in STEM is a critical piece of information for the STEM pipeline.” Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector® concludes, “STEM jobs are among the highest paying and fastest growing in the United States, we must know where the jobs are, and excite and encourage students to pursue STEM degrees and careers, armed with skill sets to fill and grow where the jobs are.”
Highlights of the STEM Student/Jobs Report
Where are the STEM Students? The report documents how STEM interest has been continually rising in high-school students since 2004, and an astounding 25% of all high-school students currently have an interest in STEM majors and careers. Since the graduating class of 2004, overall interest in STEM majors and careers among high school seniors has increased by over 20%. Arguably the most concerning trend with students interested in STEM is the increasing gender-gap. Nationally, about 14.5% of female students express STEM as compared to 39.6% for their male counterparts. Since 2011, interest in STEM courses has grown and is projected to continue rising for Asian, Hispanic, American Indian and White students. The Southern region of the US has the highest concentration (36%) of students interested in STEM topics.
What are their Career Interests by STEM Discipline? In 2012, Mechanical Engineering (20.4%) was the most popular major or career choice among STEM-interested students, while Biology was second at 11.9%. American Indian students are the most likely to be interested in Engineering, compared to students of other ethnic groups. Female students are significantly more likely to be interested in the STEM majors/careers of Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology and Science. Engineering and Technology interest are on the rise, while interest in Science and Mathematics has decreased over the past few years.
Where are the STEM Jobs? In 2012, the US STEM workforce surpassed 7.4 million workers and it is expected to grow significantly through 2018, to an estimated 8.65 million workers. These numbers (7.4 million and 8.65 million) don’t reflect people who are “self employed” in STEM fields. If “self employed” is included the number of people employed in STEM fields in 2012 was 14.9 million, and is projected to reach 15.68 million by 2018.
Types of STEM Jobs: In 2012, accountants and auditors comprised the largest number of STEM-related jobs in the US with over 1.66 million, a number that is projected to increase to 1.78 million by 2016. Currently the manufacturing sector faces a large shortage of employees with STEM skills. Alarmingly, 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled in spite of current economic conditions.
New STEM Job Areas: Between 2011 and 2015, an estimated 1.7 million jobs will be created in cloud computing in North America. Another noteworthy increase in STEM jobs has come courtesy of mobile application (“apps”) technology, which has fostered an estimated 311,000 jobs in the “app economy.” By 2018, the bulk of STEM jobs will be in Computing (71%) followed by traditional Engineering (16%), Physical Sciences (7%), Life Sciences (4%) and Mathematics (2%).
Data & Sources
The student data used in this report is drawn primarily from My College Options’ annual survey of 5.5 million high school students, which covers 95% of U.S. high schools. The data for the STEM employment outlook and projections comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), and was compiled by The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America (ASTRA). The report was made possible through the generous support of Cisco.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hands-On Achievement: Why Massachusetts Vocational Technical Schools Have Low Dropout Rates," Interesting article

"Vocational-technical high schools across Massachusetts have dramatically cut dropout rates, but school district-run voc-techs should be granted greater autonomy if they are to replicate the outstanding academic and student retention performance of their more independent regional counterparts, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

In "Hands-On Achievement: Why Massachusetts Vocational Technical Schools Have Low Dropout Rates," authors Alison L. Fraser and William Donovan note that a blue-ribbon panel appointed by Mayor Thomas Menino on Boston's in-district voc tech, Madison Park, also recommended greater autonomy.

"The needs and responsibilities of vocational-technical students are unique," said David Ferreira, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators.  "It only makes sense for schools to have the freedom to set policies and procedures customized to those students."

An average of about 10,000 Massachusetts students dropped out annually over the past decade.  In 2011, the dropout rate at the commonwealth's comprehensive high schools was 2.8 percent. 

But the average was 1.6 percent at voc-tech schools and just 0.9 percent at regional voc-techs.  The voc-tech dropout rate has been at least 1 percentage point beneath that for comprehensive high schools for more than 15 years.  More than 60 percent of voc-tech students go on to post-secondary education.

The lower dropout rates come despite voc-techs educating a higher percentage of at-risk students.  Statewide, 17 percent of students are in special education, while the number is 24 percent at the voc-techs.  The voc-tech special education graduation rate of 82 percent is nearly 20 percentage points higher than that of comprehensive high schools.

One reason Fraser identifies for voc-techs' success is a schedule of alternating weeks of academic and trade education, which makes it easier for students to envision themselves in a career.

After a semester of exploring up to 10 career and technical majors, the alternating academic/technical schedule allows teachers to work with 10-15 students all day for a week at a time, which fosters more nurturing mentor relationships.  In addition to being licensed by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), voc-tech teachers must also have at least three-to-five years of training in the field of their licensure.

Since voc-tech students hone their skills through repetition that can only be practiced at school, it's no surprise that the schools have found a high correlation between high attendance and low dropout rates.  At Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, a corrective action plan is developed for any student whose attendance rate dips below 90 percent.
Some Massachusetts vocational-technical high school buildings are over 50 years old.  The authors call on the Legislature to approve a five year, $5 million bond authorization filed by the Patrick administration to help the schools upgrade laboratories and equipment.

The report also recommends that, "The administration and Department of Elementary & Secondary Education should work with practitioners to support a customized public relations campaign to bring attention to the successes of vocational technical schools in the Commonwealth."

Alison L. Fraser is an education policy, research and strategy consultant, and president of Practical Policy; she is also a part-time administrator at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School. William Donovan is a former staff writer with the Providence Journal, and has taught business journalism in the graduate programs at Boston University and Northeastern University.

Browse Pioneer's related research and analysis on vocational education: Vocational-Technical Education in Massachusetts (October 2008) also authored by Alison L. Fraser; a series of blog posts by Jim Stergios featuring video interviews of vocational-technical school leaders here, here, here, here, and here; and a Fall River Herald News op-ed in support of expanding vocational education here."

(This is not a NU publication)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Applying New Research to Improve Science Education - CARL WIEMAN

Article you might find of interest...Applying New Research to Improve Science Education

Insights from several fields on how people learn to become experts can help us to dramatically enhance the effectiveness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.