IN his 2013 State Of The Union address, President Barack Obama called on our nation’s educators and policy makers to make “America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.” To do so, our Nation must increase our ability to expose young people to advanced research within the national education system.
President Obama continued on to say:
“Now is not the time to gut job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race.”
We share these beliefs with President Obama, and the E.A.G.R. team is ready to answer the call by providing exposure to advanced research topics to high school students in Philadelphia.
We’ve come up with 3 Lessons for America’s Educators and Policy Makers that we believe will help to shape our nation’s education system into what it should be: The most effective education system world-wide.
1. Policy is only one way to make a difference – Federal, State, and City officials have a long road ahead of them when it comes to fostering world-class Science Technology Engineering and Math education programs in our public schools, but at E.A.G.R. we believe that the onus does not rest solely on policy makers. We believe that to make a difference every community member should to take an active role in educating tomorrow’s brilliant minds.
As educators, we feel it is essential that parents, siblings, mentors, and teachers go the extra mile to introduce young people to exciting fields of the sciences, and expose them to compelling applications of research programs in the STEM disciplines.
2. The First Step is Believing – Our young people can’t be expected to understand the breadth and depth of research going on in their communities without being exposed to them. It’s up to educators, family members, and community leaders to take on an active role in our students’ futures.
The most important step is the first one, simply believing that our students can achieve anything they put their minds to. With enough support around the home and in the classroom, students will be more willing to take on technical and academic challenges with confidence.
3. Educators Are a National Asset: For too long our nation’s educators have been marginalized by a culture that is disrespectful to teachers. Educators in The United States work exceedingly long hours, often with income levels that do not compare to careers in business. In order to attract the country’s best and brightest minds to help educate our children, it’s imperative that we build a culture of respect for Educators.
In 2010 CBS news reported on the success of Japanese teachers, and the dynamic of respect for teachers among the students and community members in Japan. According to the report, the Japanese spend just 3.3% of their GDP on education, compared with 5% of GDP in The United States. Still, teachers are paid about 15% more in Japan than in The United States, and the culture of respect attracts great minds to dedicate themselves to educating others.
Don’t allow President Obama’s words to fall on deaf ears. Take a step today to improve our nation’s education system any way you can.
Together we can, and will, build a brighter future for America’s Students!