Drafts of the President’s education budget reveal deep cuts to vital programs including: student loans, mental health, after school programs, teacher training, class size reduction, arts education, academic enrichment, and the list goes on. More funding for private school and religious schools via vouchers, charters, and other “choice” mechanisms.
Decision time is soon upon us. The election of November 2016 will include races for the presidency, a third of all U.S. Senate seats, all seats in the House of Representatives, and many, many state and local races. In this section, we will consider some of the upcoming races, and look at the candidates and where they stand on the future of education. Check back from time to time as we more fully develop this feature.
The California Senate Race – 2016
California has not had an open seat for U.S. Senate since 1992. That was a historic race – the first to elect two women from one state to the Senate. Since then, for 24 years, Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have represented California in the Senate, each winning reelection each cycle. This year, Barbara Boxer has opted to not run again. And again, California is making history. Two women of color, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, both Democrats, were the top vote takers in the primary election. This ensures that the State will continue to be represented by two women, and importantly, that California, a remarkably diverse state, will have a more diverse representation in Congress. Harris claims both African American and East Indian heritage, while Sanchez would be the first Latina ever in the Senate. Both are children of immigrants. Continue reading →
An area of near universal agreement among America’s leaders is the need for more scientists and engineers. In fact, this may be the one topic where our business, education, labor, and political leaders converge. While some fields have more qualified applicants than positions, the situation in the STEM fields is just the opposite. There are more openings in technology and science than there are Americans to fill them. We currently solve this problem by granting H-1B visas and importing scientists, engineers, and others with specialized skills and training from around the world. While attracting the best and the brightest has long been part of our national lore and our immigrant past, present, and future, and is something to be proud of, few would deny that we need to train more Americans in these fields. Doing so, would provide access to quality, high paying jobs currently out of reach of young college graduates searching for work and, at the macro level, would benefit our national economy and competitiveness.
Citrus Community College STEM Student
If we want to produce more world-class scientists we may need to change the way we think about STEM learning and what makes a good scientist. Continue reading →