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STEM Roundup II: Diversity, Engineering Standards, and Computer Science

There's still more STEM education news of note this week I'd like to highlight. (Sorry about bundling these into roundups, but given the steady stream of stuff, it's the most efficient way to go.)

First, the National Academies today issued a new report declaring that minority participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at all levels should be an urgent national priority, and offering a road map on how to accomplish this. In particular, the report focuses on drawing in more African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans.

Second, the National Academy of Engineering has just released a report arguing against the development of standards for K-12 engineering education "at this time." The document suggests that it would be "extremely difficult to ensure usefulness and effectiveness at this time." It offers several reasons, including what it sees as relatively limited experience with engineering education in schools and the lack of a critical mass of teachers qualified to deliver it. But fear not, the report also offers approaches for "leveraging current national and state standards" to improve engineering instruction in schools.

And while on the topic of reports, computer science education gets some attention in a study coming out next Wednesday. Researchers from the Association for Computing Machinery and the Computer Science Teachers Association contacted each state to survey the status of computer science education and determine whether the subject is getting adequate attention in schools. Based on my previous conversations with folks at those organizations, and this EdWeek story, I think I know their answer.

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