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How the American School System Can Train Kids for High-Tech Jobs

Unemployment is high, but there are tons of open jobs in engineering and science. Here's how America's school system can fill the gap.

In May of 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an estimated 2.6 million jobs were unfilled. In the heart of the worst American recession in decades, with unemployment rates hovering at nine percent, there were over two million unfilled jobs. Why the contradiction? Many of these unfilled positions were in industries such as healthcare, aerospace, advanced precision manufacturing, scientific laboratory occupations, and computer-related design jobs which require knowledge of the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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Obama's Education Budget Is on the Right Track. Too Bad Congress Won't Approve It

Obama's new budget proposes spending where it matters most: PELL grants, teacher training, and science and math education. If only it could pass.


President Obama unveiled his entire fiscal year 2012 budget yesterday at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology in Baltimore, Maryland, and his proposed $77.4 billion in education spending—a 4 percent increase from 2010, the most recent budget enacted—bucks the national trend of defunding education. It's not a perfect budget, but Obama's committing to spending where it matters most: PELL grants, teacher and principal recruitment and training, and science, technology, engineering and math education.

In a post-budget-reveal conference call with reporters, Education Secretary Arne Duncan acknowledged that announcing the budget in a technology school was deliberate and reflects the laser-like focus the Obama Administration has on STEM education. Duncan said a big part of increasing the number of STEM educators nationwide will depend on funding the development of alternative certification programs that will make it easier for qualified professionals to head into the classroom. He also hopes to incentivize excellence in teaching by awarding grants to high performing STEM teachers.

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