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Change The Equation: STEM Vital Signs


"The push for higher standards in K-12 education has been underway for the better part of two decades. But even as some states have created clearer and more rigorous academic standards, many have lowered the bar on their state tests. The result? Too many states are lulling parents and their children into a false sense of security at a time when all students need a much stronger foundation in math and science to thrive in a global economy.
This must change. Change the Equation created "Vital Signs" reports on the condition of STEM learning in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to help measure state performance---and dig deeper into the nation's education challenges. We aim to arm both business leaders and state leaders with the information they need tomake the case for truly high expectations for our nation's students."

Change the Equation, a newly created organization of CEOs, seeks to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education through focused philanthropy and advocacy. The organization recently released a series of STEM Vital Signs reports, which aim to show how states can improve math and science education standards. The reports highlight math and science assessments on a state-by-state basis and track how well the scores match up with the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) Programme for International Student Assessment recently ranked U.S. 15-year-olds 13th in science literacy and 18th in mathematics out of the 34 OECD countries. Change the Equation recommends finding math and science teachers that have mastered their subjects, and relaxing teacher licensing requirements so that accomplished individuals from STEM fields can teach math and science. Change the Equation's Craig Barrett says CEOs are tired of the lack of progress on improving science and math education, which he says is vital to remaining competitive in technological innovation.