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Psst, President Obama: Our Students Aren't All Future Tech Workers

While ensuring kids acquire the STEM chops they need is certainly a worthy cause, there's a danger to this narrow emphasis.


Will turning America's high schools into hubs of STEM education solve our economic problems? At Tuesday night's State of the Union address President Obama announced, "a new challenge to redesign America's high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy." He plans to do that by rewarding "schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math—the skills today's employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future."

Except that while ensuring kids acquire the STEM chops they need is certainly a worthy cause, there's a danger to this narrow emphasis. We can't forget that the purpose of school isn't just to serve the nation's economic interests. Indeed, while Andre Perry, the Associate Director for Educational Initiatives for the Loyola Institute for Quality and Equity in Education in New Orleans tweeted that given the President's emphasis on STEM, he better get his "two-year-old more science kits," he also cautioned, "Let's not forget ethics training Mr. President. Science without wisdom = high tech oppression."

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