The U.S. Technology Skills GapWhat Every Technology Executive Must Know to Save America's Future
Wiley CIO 1. Aufl.
Is a widening “skills gap” in science and math education threatening America’s future? That is the seminal question addressed in The U.S. Technology Skills Gap, a comprehensive 104-year review of math and science education in America. Some claim this “skills gap” is “equivalent to a permanent national recession” while others cite how the gap threatens America’s future economic, workforce employability and national security. This much is sure: America’s math and science skills gap is, or should be, an issue of concern for every business and information technology executive in the United States and The U.S Technology Skills Gap is the how-to-get involved guidebook for those executives laying out in a compelling chronologic format: The history of the science and math skills gap in America Explanation of why decades of astute warnings were ignored Inspiring examples of private company efforts to supplement public education A pragmatic 10-step action plan designed to solve the problem And a tantalizing theory of an obscure Japanese physicist that suggests America’s days as the global scientific leader are numbered Engaging and indispensable, The U.S. Technology Skills Gap is essential reading for those eager to see America remain a relevant global power in innovation and invention in the years ahead.
CIOs Speak xv Preface xix Ac knowledgments xxv Part One: How Did We Get Here? 1 Chapter 1 1941: The Subject We Love to Hate 3 Math? Not for Me! 4 "Minimize the Effect of Schooling" 5 Young Adults with IQs of Eight-Year-Olds 5 The Fall Continues 6 President Roosevelt Understands Science 7 An Opportunity Lost 8 Americans Still Hate Math and Science 9 Chapter 2 1945: Operation Paperclip 11 Nazis Hailed as "Outstanding" Scientists 11 Germany's Rocket Man 12 The Nazis Get to von Braun 13 Time Magazine Paints a Dim Picture of von Braun 15 America's Best Rocket: The Bazooka 15 Shipped to America 17 America Had Space Technology before the Soviets 17 Germany Developed the Atomic Bomb First 18 Chapter 3 1950: Deming Says 21 Deming Has an Idea 21 The Lecture Series That Changed the Balance of the World Economy 22 Japan Embraces, America Ignores 24 Datsuns Arrive in Los Angeles 25 American Business Leaders Finally Listen 25 Lessons from Deming 26 Can Total Quality Management Fix the American Education System? 27 Chapter 4 1952: Boomerang 29 What It Means to Teach 29 A Teacher Shortage Exacerbates the Educational Challenges 30 Another Problem: Crumbling Infrastructure 31 Media Critiques Begin 32 Back in the USSR 33 Boomers Perform Poorly on SATs 34 Connecting the Dots 35 The Boomerang Theory 36 Chapter 5 1962: Too Hard to Follow 39 The Rationale for the Lunar Landing 40 Kennedy in His Own Words 40 "It's Just So Darn Hard" 41 Students: Math and Science Are Irrelevant 42 Culture Counts 42 Industry Leaders Offer Advice 43 Do Something about It 44 American Students Not Measuring Up 45 The Results, Please 45 How to Do Something 46 High School Seniors: No, Thank You 47 Perception Is Reality: The Importance of the Guidance Counselor 48 The STEM Pipeline Shrinks More in Higher Education 49 Putting Words in the President’s Mouth 51 Chapter 6 1962: Empires of the Mind 53 Did You Know? 53 The Shift Is On 54 The Components of Yuasa’s Phenomenon 55 Fast-Forward 55 Yuasa's Phenomenon Arrives in America in 1920 56 Youth Rules 57 Look to the East? 58 Three Patents to the Win 59 America's Innovation Ecosystem at Risk 60 Does It Work for You? 61 The World in 2050 63 Slip Sliding Away? 63 Survival Is Not Compulsory 64 Chapter 7 1963: SAT Down 67 The History of the SAT 67 Asleep at the Wheel for 14 Years 68 The College Entrance Examination Board Responds 68 More Competition for the SAT 69 Why the SAT Scores Dropped 69 How to Get 100 More SAT Points 71 Too Much Mediocrity 71 Chapter 8 1976: Too Many Chiefs 73 A Tale of Two Documents 73 Keep It Local 74 The Great Society Era Ushers in Federal Involvement 74 ESEA: Not All Things Considered 75 Teacher Unions Create the U.S. Department of Education 75 Did I Really Promise That ? 76 President Carter's Top 10 List 76 Eight Years Is Too Short 77 Reagan Shifts from Compliance to Competency 78 Bush Sets Voluntary Education Goals 78 Other Issues Get in the Way 79 Clinton Unsuccessfully Shifts Education Goals from Voluntary to Compulsory 79 No Child Left Behind Ushers in Compulsory Education Compliance 80 Obama Is Stymied by Gridlocked Washington 80 Close Down the U.S. Department of Education 81 Part Two: And the Hits Just Keep on Coming 83 Can You Hear Me Now? 84 Road Trip 84 The Eighth-Grade Focus 84 Connect the Dots 85 It Takes a Village That Cares 85 The Warning System Works 86 Chapter 9 The Skills Gap Warnings Begin 87 1964: The First International Mathematics Study 87 1971: The First International Science Study 87 1971: The National Education Trust Fund 88 1978: The Nation’s Report Card 89 1982: The Second International Mathematics Study 90 1983: A Nation at Risk 91 1985: Global Competition: The New Reality 98 1985: Corporate Classrooms: The Learning Business 99 1986: A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century 100 1987: Workforce 2000: Work and Workers for the Twenty-first Century 101 1987: The National Science Foundation Annual Report Introduces STEM 102 1987: The Fourth R: Workforce Readiness, a Guide to Business Education Partnerships 103 1989: Winning the Brain Race: A Bold Plan to Make Our Schools Competitive 105 Chapter 10 The Skills Gap Emerges 111 1990: America's Choice: High Skills or Low Wages! 111 1990: The Second International Science Study 113 1990: The National Assessment of Educational Progress 113 1993: John Sculley: "America Is Resource Poor" 114 1995: The Third International Mathematics and Science Study 115 Different Measurement, Improved Ranking 116 1996: The National Assessment of Educational Progress 117 1999: New World Coming: American Security in the 21st Century 118 Chapter 11 The Skills Gap Widens 121 2000: Ensuring a Strong U.S. Scientific, Technical, and Engineering Workforce in the 21st Century 121 2000: Before It’s Too Late 123 2000: The Programme for International Student Assessment 125 2000: The National Assessment of Educational Progress Test 128 2002: Unraveling the Teacher Shortage Problem: Teacher Retention Is the Key 129 2003: Building a Nation of Learners 131 2004: Sustaining the Nation's Innovation Ecosystem 132 2005: Losing the Competitive Advantage: The Challenge for Science and Technology in America 134 2005: The Knowledge Economy: Is the United States Losing Its Competitive Edge? 135 2005: The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century 137 2005: Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future 138 2005: The National Assessment of Educational Progress 141 2006: Teachers and the Uncertain American Future 142 2006: The Quiet Crisis: Falling Short in Producing American Scientific and Technical Talent 143 2007: We Are Still Losing Our Competitive Advantage: Now Is the Time to Act 144 2007: How the World’s Best?]Performing School Systems Come Out on Top 146 2007: Into the Eye of the Storm: Assessing the Evidence on Science and Engineering Education, Quality, and Workforce Demand 149 2007: Tough Choices or Tough Times 151 2007: The Role of Education Quality in Economic Growth 153 2008: Foundations for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel 156 2008: "Lessons from 40 Years of Education Reform" 157 2009: Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant: Asian Nations Set to Dominate the Clean Energy Race by Out-Investing the United States 159 2009: The CIO Executive Council’s Youth and Technology Careers Survey 160 2009: The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools 162 2009: The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness 163 2009: Steady As She Goes? Three Generations of Students through the Science and Engineering Pipeline 165 Chapter 12 The Consequences of the Skills Gap Become Apparent 171 2010: Rising above the Gathering Storm Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5 171 2010: Why So Few Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics? 172 2010: Waiting for Superman 175 2010: Education Next’s Public Perception of Education Survey 175 2010: Interview with Craig Barrett 178 2010: Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to Careers in Teaching 179 2011: The National Assessment of Educational Progress 181 2011: The Intel Corporation's Survey of Teens' Perceptions of Engineering 182 2011: Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete? 183 2012: How Well Are American Students Learning? 184 2012: U.S. Education Reform and National Security 186 2012: Prosperity at Risk: Findings of Harvard Business School's Survey on U.S. Competitiveness 187 2012: The World Economic Forum's Annual Global Competitiveness Report 189 2012: Where Will All the STEM Talent Come From? 191 2012: SAT and ACT Scores Reveal Disappointing News 193 2012: Five Misconceptions about Teaching Math and Science: American Education Has Not Declined, and Other Surprising Truths 195 The Long and Winding Road 197 Part Three: Let's Build Some Arks 201 Chapter 13 Patchworking the Tech Skills Gap Begins 203 1965: Skills USA 203 1968: The Xerox Science Consultant Program 204 1989: Women in Technology International 206 1990: Teach for America 208 1994: Tech Corps 209 1995: NetDay 212 1996: SAS Curriculum Pathways 213 1997: The Cisco Networking Academy 215 1998: I.C.Stars 216 1998: Intel Teach 219 Chapter 14 The Pace of Remediation Work on the National Skills Gap Accelerates 223 2000: Year Up 223 2000: The Juniper Networks Foundation Fund 225 2002: Technology Goddesses 227 2002: nPower 229 2003: The Microsoft Imagine Cup 230 2004: Engineering Is Elementary 231 2004: The Junior FIRST Lego League 232 2005: Raytheon's MathMovesU 234 2005: IBM's Transition to Teaching 235 2006: The Khan Academy 237 2006: Cognizant's Maker Faire 239 2007: The National Math and Science Initiative 240 2008: AT&T Aspire 241 2008: AMD's Changing the Game 244 2009: Microsoft’s TEALS 245 2009: The Salesforce.com Foundation 249 2009: DIGITS 249 2009: Change the Equation 250 Chapter 15 The Pace of Ark Building Quickens 255 2010: The Broadcom MASTERS 255 2011: CA Technologies and the Sesame Workshop 257 2011: IBM's P-TECH 258 2012: Udacity 261 2012: CA Technologies: Tech Girls Rock 262 2012: Microsoft's Teach.org 264 2012: The Dell Education Challenge 265 2012: The Girl Scouts of America's Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math 266 News Alert: More Arks Needed! 269 Epilogue For What It's Worth 273 Top Ten Recommendations for Action 276 Closing Time 289 About the Author 293 About the Website 295 Index 297
“America has a rich tradition of making things. The increasing technical sophistication of the world, combined with historically low numbers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates at best fails to honor that history. And, at worst, threatens to severely limit America’s future.”—Ralph Loura, Chief Information Officer, The Clorox Company “In the past few years I have hired many deeply technical people. The vast majority of resumes for my most technical jobs come from graduates of colleges in India and China. It is clear to me that we are not preparing American students with the skills that high tech employers deem necessary.”—John Halamka, Chief Information Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Professor, Harvard Medical School “When I talk to high school and college students I find the connection of skills learned in math and science to skills used in work, and in life, is missing. Educators need to make this connection – how does a lab in science relate to work and life? How does calculus relate? These lack of connections are a serious gap in our education system.”—Nancy Newkirk, Chief Information Officer, International Data Group “Information technology plays a pervasive and critical role in driving business capabilities and enabling corporate strategies. In order for American industry to sustain its renowned capacity to innovate, it must have a workforce equipped to develop and apply future generations of advanced information technologies.”—James Nanton, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Hanesbrands, Inc. “The American educational system has lost touch with the reality of providing people with the practical skills and competencies required for young professionals to add meaningful value to our corporations. America needs to rethink how we prepare young people to have meaningful careers that are both financially and intellectually rewarding.”—Larry Bonfante, Chief Information Officer, The United States Tennis Association “One of the most difficult roles I have as a chief information officer is finding and recruiting talent. In a growing business, with average turnover rates, I run at a constant talent deficit because I cannot find people with the skills I need to the job openings I have. If the American education system cannot produce a work force with the appropriate skills then these jobs will be filled by global providers. The need to focus on creating career-ready individuals is not an educational imperative. It is an economic imperative.”—Gary King, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Chico’s,Inc. “The K-12 years are critical foundational years that “plant the seed” for a desire to learn, to teach vital study and research habits, to develop skill sets and to discover areas of interest and proclivity. These are pivotal years that work to shape the “whole” person. The K-12 educational phase is also the ideal period to generate interest, desire and passion for technology. Sadly, more and more of our underserved demographic groups are participating as “consumers” of technology, versus “developers” or “innovators” of such.”—Gina C.Tomlinson, Chief Technology Officer, City and County of San Francisco “I became astutely aware that America had a problem communicating and getting children interested in technology based on an experience I had with my middle school-aged daughter who told me one day, ‘Dad, I am terrible in technology’. The first thing I told her, partly kiddingly, was not to say that in public too loudly, as that would not look good for Dad since his job is heading a technology group! But it illustrated a problem our country has: most children are not being exposed to the possibilities of technology and how the field could be interesting, challenging and great job opportunities for them and that they should not have any fears about being able to utilize technology in many ways since they already use it far more than they comprehend.”—Michael Gabriel, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Home Box Office “The historical position of the United States as a global technology innovator has brought us prosperity and growth. These will dry up quickly, however, if our country does not produce a steady supply of thought leaders who are able to compete in the global technology marketplace. As our world shifts more and more from atoms to bits as the currency of economic growth, America will be left behind if we are not able to compete as global innovators. As a result, we will soon find ourselves handing our global economic leadership over to a new set of leaders, and along with it, our ability to determine our own future and control of our own destiny. The United States must make profound, wholesale changes to our education system in a way that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and encourages and motivates students to excel in these critical areas. If we fail to do so, we will lose our global competitiveness.”—Steve Mills, Chief Information Officer, Rackspace Hosting Inc. “‘Survival of the fittest’ has shaped the evolution of our species for hundreds, thousands, even millions of years. In the 21st century business context, the fittest are those with the ability to think critically, solve problems, innovate and collaborate effectively with one another. If we fail to equip our children with these skills through significant enhancements to our education systems, how will they ever survive.”—Bill Schlough, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer, San Francisco Giants
GARY J. BEACH, in his role as publisher emeritus for IDG's CIO magazine, is a highly regarded spokesperson throughout the United States and global technology industry. He has appeared often on CNBC's Squawk on the Street program and, for four years, aired technology commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Morning Edition programs.
It is a fact. For nearly fifty years, American students have performed poorly in global and domestic math and science examinations. For a nation that annually invests $583 billion in public education, The U.S. Technology Skills Gap argues, the American taxpayer deserves a better return on investment. McKinsey and Company says it more bluntly: "These educational gaps imposed on the United States are the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession." Global technology expert Gary Beach pre-sents in The U.S. Technology Skills Gap an all-in-one-place primer on the history of math and science education in America. Presented chronologically, The U.S. Technology Skills Gap goes back over 100 years to connect the dots on why American students are falling further behind students in other countries and explains what this skills gap means for the future strength of America's economy, the employability of its workforce, and the strength of its national security. Based on his thirty-year career in the information technology arena, Beach proposes that if the U.S. aims to meet President Obama's challenge to "out-innovate," "out-educate," and "out-build" the rest of the world, the current structure of the American education system, designed to support a 19th-century agrarian/manufacturing-based economy, needs systemic reform to educate young Americans with the strong quantitative and communicative skills needed in the 21st century. A Chinese proverb says, "If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people." The seminal message of The U.S. Technology Skills Gap is one of hope presenting scores of great examples of companies and individuals working together to reinvent America for another 100 years of prosperity by growing people.
Praise for The U.S. Technology Skills Gap "The U.S. Technology Skills Gap is a compelling 'call to action' to address the decline of one of the most basic building blocks for the future of our economy: world-class math and science skills. Gary Beach explains why solving this problem must be America's highest national priority." —Tony Scott, Chief Information Officer, Microsoft Corporation "Beach's book is a badly needed, data-driven wake-up call, challenging educators, politicians, parents, and voters to a national debate aimed at rescuing much of American education from its still-rising tide of mediocrity. The book's high-spirited style invites a reader who may not agree with a specific proposal to get serious and develop a practical, evidence-based alternative. For above all, the status quo is no longer acceptable." —Dr. Gerald Holton, member of 1983 National Commission on Excellence in Education and principal writer, A Nation at Risk; Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Harvard University "Gary Beach could not have taken on a more timely or important subject. Science and math education is the key to America's future. Yet our approach to teaching science, technology, engineering, and math has not changed as the stakes have. With keen insight, Beach explains how we got here, what changes we must make, and why this is a problem that every CEO and citizen should care about." —Wendy Kopp, Chief Executive Officer and founder, Teach for America "The lack of science and math skills among our nation's students is one of the greatest threats to American competitiveness. Gary Beach's thorough examination of how the U.S. has reached this precarious point is a startling walk through history. The innovative efforts he highlights, and his recommendations to improve public education in America, should serve as guideposts to those with the passion and nerve to act." —Dr. Jim Goodnight, Chief Executive Officer, SAS "A society is defined by its product development and manufacturing ingenuity built on a foundation of math and science knowledge. Given our record over the last number of years, are the best days of the U.S. behind us? Not if Gary Beach and The U.S. Technology Skills Gap can help it!" —Ralph Szygenda, former Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, General Motors Corporation "This book is a sober reminder of the crisis our country faces in producing a 21st-century workforce that will enable America to continue to lead the world. It also clearly points out that while government-backed education is a large part of the problem, it is unlikely to be part of the solution any time soon. The crisis is being addressed initially by those who most critically need well-educated workers—the employers of this country. Their grass-roots efforts and experimentation are providing bright spots that can influence and hopefully change the system in time to make a difference." —Paul Otellini, member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; former President and Chief Executive Officer, Intel Corporation
Praise for The U.S. Technology Skill Gap: What Every Technology Executive Must Know to Save America’s Future “The U.S. Technology Skills Gap is a compelling ‘call to action’ to address the decline of one of the most basic building blocks for the future of our economy: world class math and science skills. Skills Gap explains why solving this problem must be America’s highest national priority.”—Tony Scott, Chief Information Officer, Microsoft Corporation “Beach’s book is a badly needed, data-driven wake-up call, challenging educators, politicians, parents and voters to a national debate aimed at rescuing much of American education from its still-rising tide of mediocrity. The book’s high-spirited style invites a reader who may not agree with a specific proposal to get serious and develop a practical, evidence-based alternative. For above all, the status quo is no longer acceptable.”—Dr. Gerald Holton, member of 1983 National Commission on Excellence in Education, and principal writer, A Nation at Risk and Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Harvard University “Gary Beach could not have taken on a more timely or important subject. Science and math education is the key to America’s future. Yet our approach to teaching science, technology, engineering and math has not changed as the stakes have. With keen insight, Beach explains how we got here, what changes we must make and why this is a problem that every CEO and citizen should care about.”—Wendy Kopp, Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Teach for America “The lack of science and math skills among our nation’s students is one of the greatest threats to American competitiveness. Gary Beach’s thorough examination of how the U.S. has reached this precarious point is a startling walk through history. The innovative efforts he highlights, and his recommendations to improve public education in America, should serve as guideposts to those with the passion and nerve to act.”—Dr. Jim Goodnight, Chief Executive Officer, SAS “A society is defined by its product development and manufacturing ingenuity built on a foundation of math and science knowledge. Given our record over the last number of years, are the best days of the U.S. behind us? Not if Gary Beach and The U.S. Technology Skills Gap can help it!”—Ralph Szygenda, former Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, General Motors Corporation
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