In an article for the National Academy's Issues in Science and Technology, Rob Atkinson argued that much of what passes for accepted wisdom for STEM reform (science, technology, engineering and math education) is misguided and that we need a new approach. Advocates of what can be called the "Some STEM for All" framework want an approach focused largely on expanding and improving K-12 STEM education for all American students. Many of the dominant policy solutions being proposed, such as increased teacher pay and campaigns to get students interested in science, reflect this framing. In contrast, Atkinson argues for a new approach grounded in a "Some STEM for All" approach focused in part on providing high quality STEM education for students especially interested in and focused on STEM.
Education & Training
University Research Funding: The United States is Behind and Falling
Research and development drives innovation and innovation drives long-run economic growth, creating jobs and improving living standards in the process. University-based research is of particular importance to innovation, as the early-stage research that is typically performed at universities serves to expand the knowledge pool from which the private sector draws ideas and innovation. As such, it is troubling that in 2008 the United States ranked 22nd out of 30 countries in government-funded university research and 21st in business-funded university research. Moreover, we are falling even farther behind.
From 2000 to 2008, the United States ranked 18th in the growth of government-funded university research, with countries like China, Korea and the United Kingdom significantly outperforming the United States. Worse still, the United States ranked 23rd in the growth of business-funded research, with it actually declining as a share of GDP. In contrast, collaboration between universities and business grew dramatically in nations like Austria, China, Israel and Taiwan. These statistics are unmistakable and troubling. As we fail to increase these investments in our future at anywhere near the rate of our economic competitors, our innovation system is faltering. National economies increasingly compete on the basis of innovation, and, in the race for global innovation advantage, the United States will continue to trail countries that have placed university research and industrial collaboration at the forefront of their economic policy.
While our public research universiti