Thursday, March 17, 2016

Senator Murray Introduces STEM bill for Women and Minorities

This is great news from Senator Murray's office.

(On the downside, she voted yes to John B. King, Jr. to replace Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education.  The upside to that is that Mr. King will probably not be in that position long enough to do more damage. )

From Senator Murray's office:

Legislation would jumpstart NSF grants, K-12 outreach programs that increase interest & retention in STEM fields

More than 9% of all jobs in Washington state are STEM-related—the highest in the nation
           
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act, legislation that would provide support to increase the number of women and minorities entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. This bill would authorize the National Science Foundation to award competitive grants for outreach, mentoring, and professional development programs that support the recruitment and retention of women and minorities in STEM fields. The legislation also authorizes funding for STEM education outreach programs at the elementary and secondary school level in order to strengthen and diversify the pipeline of future STEM professionals.

“If we’re going to truly empower young women to compete in the 21st century economy, it’s crucial that we have the federal commitments necessary to support their recruitment and retention in the STEM fields,” said Senator Murray.

The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act is supported by the American Association of University Women; Association of Women’s Business Centers; Association of Women in Science; Girl Scouts of the USA; Girls, Inc.; National Action Council for Minority Engineers; National Council of Asian Pacific Americans; National Society for Black Engineers; Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science; Southeast Asia Resource Action Center; Society of Women Engineers; STEMConnector/Million Women Mentors; and Women in Public Policy.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Henrich (D-NM), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Representatives Madeline Z. Bordallo (D-GU), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Luis GutiƩrrez (D-IL), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mike Honda (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), William R. Keating (D-MA), James R. Langevin (D-RI), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).

Click HERE for text of the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act.

4 comments:

Liz said...

Too bad technology education lags so far behind in secondary, especially middle, schools in WA. If you are curious on how a teacher--who may be exceptionally qualified--can actually become a technology (or "computer") teacher, it's a pretty narrow and difficult pathway to add that certification endorsement.

For starters, there is only ONE technology education Master's program in all of WA. And it's in Ellensburg. Not even an online program, either. That's two years and $$$$$$.

Then there is the WEST exam educators must pass in order to obtain certification. If you want a laugh, check out the practice questions and try to guess what year they created the test:

http://www.west.nesinc.com/Content/Docs/WA_SG_040.pdf

Hint: before 1998.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Liz, would you be okay if I send your comment onto Murray's office? This is the kind of thing she needs to hear.

Liz said...

Please do!

Outsider said...

Tell her this too:

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-130.html

"The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that 74 percent of those who have a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering and math — commonly referred to as STEM — are not employed in STEM occupations...

"According to new statistics from the 2012 American Community Survey, engineering and computer, math and statistics majors had the largest share of graduates going into a STEM field with about half employed in a STEM occupation. Science majors had fewer of their graduates employed in STEM. About 26 percent of physical science majors; 15 percent of biological, environmental and agricultural sciences majors; 10 percent of psychology majors; and 7 percent of social science majors were employed in STEM."

Yet every year the US government issues 85,000 H1 visas for STEM workers from overseas. We know how it goes -- our kids are held back in school, their time wasted, and later they will be told "sorry, you're not good enough; we have to hire foreigners." I wonder what, if anything, Patty Murray has in mind. It's true that STEM graduates have higher employment rates in general. In other words, STEM training makes people more employable, even if it's just making lattes, than art history or oppression studies. Does Murray want to make women and minorities more employable by directing them into STEM education, and away from humanities, even though it's very unlikely they will have STEM jobs?

Or does Murray want to give women and minorities a more rigorous form of STEM education that would enable them to actually compete with foreigners and get STEM jobs? If so, how is that fair?

Actually, Murray is just a corporate tool who supports the TPP always more H1 visas, so probably it's just cheap talk and means nothing.