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ERIC Number: EJ1045733
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1084-6522
Developing Stem Talent among Diverse Learners
Roberts, Julia Link
NCSSSMST Journal, v19 n1 p18-19 Spr 2014
Currently, the U.S. is not stacking up in educating students in STEM disciplines. "America lags in providing top-level schooling in STEM fields…, and this may jeopardize future economic growth, job creation, and international competitiveness" (Smarick, 2013, p. 12). International assessments of student performance, including the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), show that students in other countries are outperforming U.S. students, especially in the STEM fields. In "Mind the (Other) Gap: The Growing Excellence Gap in K-12 Education," Plucker, Burroughs, and Song (2010) introduced the term Excellence Gap to describe the growing gap between the percentages of children in diverse groups and other children scoring at advanced levels in mathematics and language arts. The Achievement Gap has highlighted differences between groups of children scoring at the level of proficiency, and the Excellence Gap does the same thing but uses the advanced level of achievement as the mark of excellence. They found that few children from low income families and few Hispanic and Black young people scored at the advanced levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Excellence Gap also is evident in science scores (Burroughs, 2012). The Excellence Gap is so large as to be alarming; and, if something is not done about closing the Excellence Gap, it will not happen in the lifetime of current citizens. This article provides four strategies that the author believes can change the current situation: (1) Remove barriers to children being recognized as having the potential to perform at advanced levels; (2) Foster early interest in STEM topics among all children; (3) Provide support for young people who are interested in pursuing STEM topics much like a coach does to ensure continuing interest in a sport; and (4) Prepare young people to pursue academic work that is challenging as they develop study skills, persistence, and advanced academic skills.
National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Program for International Student Assessment