Speaking of STEM, this Post article from a month ago illustrates one big disconnect in our current push for kids to take more STEM classes.

Although a recent study found that almost 75 percent of those who have science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) bachelor’s degrees have jobs in other fields, policymakers, advocates and executives continue to push STEM education as a way to close achievement gaps and produce U.S. innovation.

The bulk of the article is about the college-level fight over STEM with equal weight given to the professor who says “says there is no compelling evidence to support claims of worker shortages” in STEM fields, and the mathematician providing anecdotal proof of the value by observing that students in his field “get jobs before they graduate because of the need for talented workers in fields such as information technology”.

However, don’t bother reading the whole thing. The writer arrives at the real issue behind the emphasis on STEM in K12 education by the second paragraph – and it has nothing to do with jobs.

Officials point to 12 countries that have higher test scores in science and 17 with higher scores in math.

Everything comes back to scores on standardized tests. And if you can mix in something about how US students compare (poorly) to kids in other countries, especially Finland or China, all the better.

But never fear, STEM will save us. Or is it STEAM? Or SSTREEAM?1