Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Sputnik of Our Age

Higher Pay Urged to Fight Dearth of Math and Science Teachers
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 12, 2007; Page A15

Higher starting salaries, more rigorous teacher training programs and additional support for first year teachers are just a few of the incentives needed to deal with a projected shortfall of more than 280,000 math and science teachers across the country by 2015, according to a group of business, foundation and higher education leaders.

The recommendations were included in a report released yesterday by the Business-Higher Education Forum, a Washington-based group organized to increase U.S. competitiveness. Its release was timed to coincide with the national debate on teacher quality and pay as Congress prepares to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, the Higher Education Act and the budget for the National Science Foundation.


Carl F. Kohrt, president and chief executive of the multi-billion dollar science and technology company Battelle, said during the news conference that such reforms are critical to inspire the next generation of scientists. He recalled looking up to the sky and seeing Sputnik when he was young and the three teachers who encouraged him to pursue a career in science.

He said today's students look up and see the "Sputnik of our age" -- greenhouse gases and climate change. He asked, "Who are the teachers that will inspire them?"

Full Washington Post Article Here

"I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary."

"Let it be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action, a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs... This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, materiel and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts."
-- John F. Kennedy. May 25, 1961

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