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ERIC Number: ED502040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
Math and Science Education for the California Workforce: It Starts with K-12
Workforce projections worldwide show a growing need for people with strong backgrounds in math and science. As the eighth largest economy in the world, California benefits particularly from enterprises in the "STEM" fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). How well California's current public school students are educated in math and science will help determine the quality of their personal lives, and of the state's future. This report provides a snapshot of current projections for California's workforce needs in STEM fields and explores the extent to which California's K-12 standards-based reforms in the last decade have affected student achievement in math and science, with a particular focus on the higher-level courses students take beginning in 8th grade. The report examines whether traditionally low-achieving student subgroups are taking and succeeding at more rigorous courses and reviews data on the performance of the state's highest-achieving students. Acknowledging that K-12 education takes students only a portion of the way to their eventual careers, the report also provides a snapshot of recent degrees and certificates granted by the state's postsecondary systems in a number of math- and science-related fields. In a society that is increasingly technological and in a state with an economy that depends heavily on math- and science-related skills, these two subjects ought not to represent formidable barriers to young people. Every student who leaves a California high school with a strong foundation in math and science will be better prepared for a wider range of opportunities than would otherwise be the case, including students who do not choose to pursue one of the STEM fields. The state's pursuit of that goal is appropriate and its policy actions are contributing to that goal. But while performance data indicate progress, they also make clear the magnitude of the challenge that California's schools continue to face as they attempt to prepare the state's current citizens for the workforce ahead. (Contains 16 figures.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: EdSource
Identifiers - Location: California