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ERIC Number: ED513487
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Opportunity Knocks: Closing the Gaps between Leaders and the Public on Math, Science, & Technology Education--A Qualitative Research Report on the Kansas City Region
Kadlec, Alison; Friedman, Will
Public Agenda
The Kansas City region is in many ways representative of the larger national economy. As with many cities of its size, the largest area of employment, other than in government, is in the healthcare sector. While biomedical research is a major growth area across the nation, Kansas City is also the national leader in the animal healthcare industry, in part because of the impact of major biomedical research organizations such as the Stowers Institute. This has given Kansas City a foothold for future development, and as Peter Levy, the President of the Chamber of Commerce noted, "It may be that the greatest challenge we have given ourselves as a community is to leverage our way up to be one of the leading communities in life sciences research in the country." While these areas of economic development have obvious and strong connections to math, science and technology (MST) education, business leaders we spoke with for this study also emphasized the extent to which more traditional jobs, such as construction, manufacturing and many others, require workers to have a stronger MST background simply because of the increasing role played by technology. Moreover, leaders stress that the kinds of analytic and collaborative skills that MST education inculcates, apart from specific content knowledge, are increasingly important to virtually "all" kinds of work in the modern economy. It's no surprise, then, that improving MST education is a driving concern of the region's leadership. The research summarized in this report was conducted to help inform efforts in the region to improve math, science and technology education and outcomes for all students. It follows up on a national report that identified an "urgency gap" between leaders and parents on the importance of MST education. In 2006, Public Agenda found that public concern about math and science has declined since the mid-1990's, even as concern among experts and leaders has ramped up dramatically. As American students continue to lag behind their international counterparts in MST achievement and as the number of American students pursuing careers in engineering and other MST related fields continues to decline, addressing this urgency gap has become critically important nationally. Does the same pattern apply in the Kansas City region? If so, what might be done about it? (Contains 4 notes.)
Public Agenda. 6 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-686-6610; Fax: 212-889-3461; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Authoring Institution: Public Agenda
Identifiers - Location: Kansas; Missouri