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Rep. Honda's STEM Education Bill Puts a Band-Aid on the Real Problem

From the article about STEM Education:  "Here's an overview of the problem: If a school district focuses only on performing well on a high-stakes California state test, an opportunity to experience and make applications in science, engineering design and computer science is lost. Rote memorization of facts and figures is over-valued. Our students' school experience, consequently, becomes a test prep factory, a setting devoid of meaningful human interaction and richer curricular connection. A child's spirit of wonder and intrigue becomes a sterile test score result."
There's no arguing with that statement. Business interests have been complaining about schools since the turn of the last century when somehow it was decided that the purpose of public schools was not to educate citizens to participate in our democracy, but to train workers to participate in the economy. These days businesses have a point when they say schools place too much emphasis on testing and rote learning, but it seems they are complaining to the wrong people. It's not individual school district's that place emphasis on testing, it's federal education policy. Why aren't Fortune 500 companies lobbying the federal government ? Why aren't the Silicon Valley companies  that value real learning speaking out against Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. It seems he only takes direction from the likes of Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee, who continue to push testing and "data driven" results.  If they really want public education to prepare students for careers in science and engineering, they need to put two and two together and start changing the test prep mentality in Washington. Otherwise things will only get worse.

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