U.S. Declining Global Rankings in Math and Science and the Impact on Our National Security: Policy Options to Elicit Another Sputnik Moment [open pdf - 715KB]
From the thesis abstract: "Since the end of the space race in the 1960s, America has been experiencing a decline in its global educational rankings in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula. Due to the interdependencies that education has with a number of our critical sectors, the declining global educational rankings can have serious effects on our national economy, technological advantage and ultimately our national security. With countries like China undertaking intensive civilian educational campaigns, completely modernizing its military, and developing extensive electronic and information warfare capabilities, our technological advantage will be critical to ensure our preparedness for these emerging threats. The inability of society to see this decline and the inability, or lack of desire of our students, to compete and excel globally in the STEM curricula is a 'collective failure.' This thesis examines a number of educational policies and programs and evaluates their focus on developing students' social learning environment and social responsibility toward learning. From this review, this research has synthesized a number of recommendations for policymakers to consider in order to help America realize a national imperative toward learning and to support America in experiencing another 'Sputnik moment.'"
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