According to a Breitbart News Article detailing the “deplorable” state of American education, the U.S. is falling further and further behind China in K-12 education in the core science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The article discusses the findings of three math scholars who immigrated to the U.S. as young students who are now greatly concerned about the falling status of the country in STEM subjects.
The scholars warned Americans that the country’s education policies are so counterproductive that our schools are becoming less attractive than even Chinese education, even though China’s schools are founded on strict and unfree academic principles.
Math education in K-12 public schools is leaving comparatively few American children prepared for STEM careers. American programs are therefore left dependent on new international students to keep programs competitive, especially those from Asia and India.
In 2017, 81% of graduate students in American electrical engineering programs came from outside the country, while 79 percent of computer science graduate students came from outside the country. The report found that at least two-thirds of STEM faculty in American graduate programs are foreign-born.
The article also cites the increasing national focus in American schools on diversity and social justice at the expense of STEM education. Asian-Americans have particularly felt the sting of discrimination as a result. Math is more often deemed to be “racist.” Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs stifle development in STEM programs, especially in math.
As an example, it was shown that California’s math “equity” programs could effectively close the path to high school calculus except to students whose parents secure extracurricular math training for them. The implication for students from lower-income families is obvious.
The coming California model that focuses on data science ignores introductory algebra to the extent that students will be entirely unprepared for undergraduate STEM programs. The report shows that the “education establishment” in control of public schools is unaware of or unconcerned with the standard requirements of college STEM academic programs.
The “dumbing-down” through education reforms has degraded math training to the point that it is challenging to distinguish capable students from those unprepared to go forward.
Most U.S. K-12 math teachers have been trained in programs that have shifted from substantive mathematics to identity politics and social justice causes. The report indicates that other advanced nations are not as beset with certification training and establishment qualifications.
International testing in 2018 ranked China’s 15-year-old students first in mathematics. The U.S. ranked twenty-fifth.