The Florida Senate just released their October Interim Report (PDF) on high school graduation requirements and readiness for post secondary education and the workforce. The report mentions a recent National Governors Association statement about STEM education needs in FL:
“Florida’s gap analysis completed for NGA’s grant application indicates that the state has many STEM partners, programs, and activities, but they are not well connected, aligned, or working cooperatively to achieve the common goal of improving student achievement in STEM areas. Additionally, despite these multiple STEM programs in public schools, colleges, universities, Space Florida, and STEM-related business and industry, student achievement in STEM content areas and programs is not where it needs to be for students’ future success in these areas. Secondary students lack essential competencies to succeed in postsecondary STEM education and 21st Century STEM careers. As a result, employers are looking outside of Florida and the nation to fill high skill STEM positions.”
At the top of the report’s list of recommendations: “Pre-K-20 science and mathematics instruction must be revised to make instruction relevant to students. This requires universities, colleges, education preparation institutes, and school districts to emphasize the actual art of instruction in their curricula for the preparation of teachers.”
Florida Citizens for Science suggests the Senate is stopping short in their report, but acknowledges it’s basically an overview of the state of STEM in the state. You can read the full report at http://www.flsenate.gov/data/Publications/2010/Senate/reports/interim_reports/pdf/2010-112ed.pdf
If nothing else, it makes a great argument for FIRST Robotics!