Important, But Not for Me

The Public Agenda Foundation – a New York based research company – shows that there is sometimes a disconnect between education and business leaders and parents and students.  The group surveyed approximately 2,600 parents and students in Kansas and Missouri.  The gist of this report is that most parents survey in beleive that science and math curriculum is about right as it is.

Specifically, the survey found that only 25 percent of parents think their children should be studying more math and science, and 70 percent think things “are fine as they are now.”

I had the opportunity to do a series of focus groups last winter with parents in places such as Ft. Collins, Greeley and Douglas County.  Parents in all three focus groups expressed views similar to those found in the Public Agenda survey.  The quote I remember came from a Ft. Collins woman who said, "I’d be happy to give up a few points on the CSAPs so my child can be well rounded."

How should education leaders respond when parents’ and students’ aspirations for schools are different than those who have spent time studying the educational needs of our country?

Here is some information on the Public Agenda report.

Important, But Not for Me:

Kansas and Missouri Students and Parents Talk About Math, Science and Technology Education

Alison Kadlec and Will Friedman with Amber Ott

There is growing consensus among the nation’s business, government and higher education leaders that unless schools do more to train and nurture a whole new generation of young Americans with strong skills in math, science and technology, U.S. leadership in the world economy is at risk. But our new report concludes that Kansas and Missouri parents and students didn’t get the memo.

Here is a link to the full report and commentary:


One Response to “Important, But Not for Me”

  1. Brad Jolly Says:

    Math and science are incredibly important to the future of our nation, and we should therefore insist that our children spend much less time studying it than they do now, particularly for math.
    The lady in Fort Collins, however, argues from a false dilemma – should our kids be smart or well-rounded? How about both? Most of the well-rounded people I know are also bright; it is unclear why ignorance is thought to contribute positively to well-roundedness.

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