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Reforming Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in America
One study after another shows American students ranking behind their international counterparts in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math. Businesspeople such as Bill Gates warn that this alarming situation puts the United States at a serious disadvantage in the high-tech global marketplace of the twenty-first century, and President Obama places improvement in these areas at the center of his educational reform. What can be done to reverse this poor performance and to unleash America’s wasted talent? David E. Drew has good news—and the tools America needs to keep competitive. Drawing on both academic literature and his own rich experience, Drew identifies proven strategies for reforming America’s schools, colleges, and universities, and his comprehensive review of STEM education in the United States offers a positive blueprint for the future. These research-based strategies include creative and successful methods for building strong programs in science and mathematics education and show how the achievement gap between majority and minority students can be closed. A crucial measure, he argues, is recruiting, educating, supporting, and respecting America’s teachers. To secure a competitive advantage both in the knowledge economy and in economic development more broadly, America needs a highly skilled, college-educated workforce and cutting-edge university research. Drew makes the case that reforming science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education to meet these demands, with an emphasis on reaching historically underserved students, is essential to the long-term prosperity of the United States. Accessible, engaging, and hard hitting, STEM the Tide is a clarion call to policymakers, administrators, educators, and everyone else concerned about students’ participation in the STEM fields and America’s competitive global position.
Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools
Train Up a Child explores how private schools in Old Order Amish communities reflect and perpetuate church-community values and identity. Here, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner asserts that the reinforcement of those values among children is imperative to the survival of these communities in the modern world. Surveying settlements in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, Johnson-Weiner finds that, although Old Order communities have certain similarities in their codes of conduct, there is no standard Old Order school. She examines the choices each community makes—about pedagogy, curriculum, textbooks, even school design—to strengthen religious ideology, preserve the social and linguistic markers of Old Order identity, and protect their own community's beliefs and values from the influence of the dominant society. In the most comprehensive study of Old Order schools to date, Johnson-Weiner provides valuable insight into how variables such as community size and relationship with other Old Order groups affect the role of these schools in maintaining behavioral norms and in shaping the Old Order's response to modernity.
No Teacher Left Behind
Washington State is about to enter a new phase of the "math wars." Since the late 1980s, the debate over how best to teach mathematics to schoolchildren has raged worldwide among educators, politicians, and parents. The stakes are high. To operate effectively in a global, twenty-first-century economy and polity, the United states must provide an education in mathematics that is both excellent and equitable.