STEMming Education Myths

, Spencer Irvine, 10 Comments

When government agencies consider the need for education reform, they usually come up with the same solution for the woes of public schools: more money. Nevertheless, buried in their reports are nuggets of information that contradict that thesis.

For example, Julie Clark, program research director at the National Science Foundation, compiled a series of studies examining the achievement gap in the U.S. and in other countries. The study, titled “Closing the Achievement Gap from an International Perspective: Transforming STEM for Effective Education”, studied countries like Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa and Australia.

Clark’s own submission addressed American shortcomings in education, where only 24% of minorities make up the American workforce and 7% work in science and engineering fields. Considering that minorities are projected to make up 68% of the future American workforce by 2015, Clark pushed for educating minorities better and more effective measures  to close the achievement gap.

One of the most important concerns of minority students, alleged Clark, was their anxiousness about self-fulfilling stereotypes. She said that minority students “may also experience stereotype threat – the fear that they will be judged as having traits associated with negative appraisals and/or stereotypes of their racial/ethnic group, which produces test anxiety and hampers their test performance.” Building on that assumption, Clark said that minority students “stop trying in school because they do not want to be accused of “acting white” by their peers.”

But, Clark argues that minority students are discriminated against in education, that they “are taught differently – many Hispanic and black children get a lower-level, less rigorous curriculum; the least-qualified teachers are assigned to teach minority students; and less is expected of minority children, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.” She felt the “unfortunate reality” is that “the burden of understaffed and underequipped schools usually falls on minority communities.”

Also, the study found that 96.6% of American eighth-grade students are taught by fully certified teachers, which was higher than the international average of 91%. Also, 42.4% of Americans students were taught by a teacher with a major in mathematics while the international average is 70%.

Of the foreign countries studied, we learned that in one of the countries, parents play a more active role in their children’s education and personally pay for the privilege. In South Korea, 2.5% of expenditures are provided by private households for tutoring and after-school programs for their children.


10 Responses

  1. SEO

    March 13, 2014 11:51 pm

    Good day! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you may have right here on
    this post. I will be coming again to your weblog for extra soon.

    my blog; SEO

  2. ??

    March 14, 2014 11:52 pm

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on
    the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get
    annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly do not
    know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without
    having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Here is my page; ??

  3. SEO

    March 16, 2014 2:40 am

    I have a notable synthetic attention meant for
    detail and may foresee problems before they will happen.

    Feel free to visit my blog post; SEO

  4. SEO

    March 20, 2014 12:50 am

    I have a willing analytical eye pertaining to detail and can foresee problems prior to these people take place.

    my website: SEO

  5. Jesse

    March 24, 2014 1:45 pm

    Good day! I just want to give a huge thumbs up for the great data
    you could have right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    Feel free to visit my site … aluminum casting (Jesse)

  6. ??

    March 30, 2014 7:32 pm

    I have a confident synthetic eye regarding fine detail and can anticipate complications just
    before they occur.

    Feel free to surf to my website … ??


    March 31, 2014 8:21 am

    Good day! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the good information you have got
    here on this post. I will likely be coming again to your weblog for extra soon.

    Here is my web page: ??? –,

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published