Read these first lines from the Abstract of the Ailes study (1982), specifically
commissioned for the Nation at Risk report (which sparked our last three decades
of school bashing in the U.S.). It was curiously ignored by
Republican-appointed “experts” who wrote the 1983 report: “Education in the U.S.S.R. is much more strongly oriented toward the
scientific and technical fields than is that of the United states. This may be
an asset in the development of specialists with the ability to attain the
short-term technological targets of the Soviet economic plan. However, the more
flexible, theoretical, broader-based higher education system in the United
States may produce specialists with an ability to innovate, with an ability to
adapt to technological change, and with a greater latitude for interfield
mobility as the demands of the economy change….”
Don't fall for the myth that our schools are inferior. Our
obsession with blaming our schools began about 30 years ago with the "Nation
at Risk" report. It was a con job. I picked out 3 of their studies and
found all three were misrepresented. They didn't take into account that in
the U.S. we try to educate all students--poor, handicapped, least prepared, even
though they drag down test scores. Europe routinely channels most students into
vocational tracks based on a single test in their early teens, but we encourage
all who wish to go to college. The U.S.S.R. (Russia) kicked all but the elite
out of the schools after 9 years. And their large tally of expert engineers?
Yes, they did have a lot, and they were superior--ON EXISTING TECHNOLOGY.
Within a few years those Russian “experts” became obsolete as U.S.
technology advanced.We produce voters able to compose, read, and
sign petitions, parents who can educate their own children, well-rounded
graduates who appreciate and contribute to the fine arts, citizens who know and
learn from history, and workers who lead, innovate, and cooperate.Our schools rock.
As a father of two engineers, I must say that our LDS culture pays lip service
to the value of education but provides so many distractions and "awards"
not related to intellectual endeavor that at times I've felt like I've
been fighting against the culture (or certainly swimming against the current) in
trying to keep them focused on academics. When my youngest was accepted to UC
Berkeley engineering (rated #3 by US News) and chose it over BYU engineering
(not even in the top 100), people in our ward could not understand why he chose
Berkeley.IMO we will not "build" enough engineers to be
competitive if we do not sufficiently value and encourage academic achievement
in math and science and continue with our "dumbed-down" culture.
There won't be any engineer out of work that don't want to be out of
work or don't have current job skills. There are 3 jobs for every engineer
@LDS Aerospace EngineerFarmington, UTI can speak to this
-- I spent 8 years in college, and 6 years in the USAF earning my
degree.Engineering students have the highest wash-out rate, and put in more hours of study for graduation at the Bachelor's than any
other course -- including Medical students.My Mother always
told me to grow up and be a Doctor, Lawyer or Engineer.In reality -
Engineers make 50% of what a Docotor makes, and 33% of what a Lawyer makes.And then we as Aemricans scratch our heads and wonder why everything is
made in China and how articles like this get written?....--------
This is a good point, if at times, a profession is losing out because of
economic conditions, but that profession is needed for competitiveness and
recovery, there is a rational reason for some federal intervention in order to
allow us to retain these people and their skills in our country. Just like
doing nothing when there's an economic depression on the way isn't
good, doing nothing when conditions are creating a brain drain is also harmful.
there will be a glut of engineers looking for work when the defense budget gets
down. however, most are likely to change professions (used car salesman,
insurance) rather than up-root the family again. These hi-tech companies hire
and fire in a vicious circle. Especially in Utah.
Maybe if our schools focused on teaching US students math, engineering and
science etc. Rather than paying foreigners to come to our schools to learn these
skills and ship them back overseas to compete against us. We spend more time and
money to educate the rest of the world, and to compete against us, rather than
focusing on our own children and teaching them how to be competitive.What is wrong with taking care of the children inside of the United States
first, before we go out to rescue the rest of the world?Barack is
ramping up green energy loans, except for billions of those dollars are being
sent to china to create jobs for them. Isn't that great? We borrow money
from China, educate the children of India, send money with strings back to China
and then outsource our manufacturing to China and engineering to India.Hurray for fairness!
When one graduates with a engineering degree, has job experience, interviews,
then is passed over for a foreigner on a work visa, why spend so much money for
a degree? The companies have learned the foreigner cost them less.
I can speak to this -- I spent 8 years in college, and 6 years in
the USAF earning my degree.Engineering students have the highest
wash-out rate, and put in more hours of study for graduation at the
Bachelor's than any other course -- including Medical students.My Mother always told me to grow up and be a Doctor, Lawyer or
Engineer.In reality - Engineers make 50% of what a Docotor makes, and 33%
of what a Lawyer makes.And then we as Aemricans scratch our heads
and wonder why everything is made in China and how articles like this get
We'll develop a lot more engineers when society starts looking up to them,
instead of denegrating them.
This article illustrates the complicated problem our nation is facing in our
current job crisis. The world is changin so fast that the jobs that were once
the bread and butter of the American economy are no longer relevant. Those who lose their jobs can't find similar employment. Job creators
can't find qualified applicants. Job training needs to be readily
available. Whether that is a function of the government or the future employers
can be (and is) being debated. Taxpayers don't want to fund another
person's education. Employers don't want to fund training and
education. Older workers don't want to start over at the bottom of the
ladder.We all seem to be pretending that with the proper policies
(tax breaks, tax increases) etc, things will go back to what they were.
Although the policies of government and business may exaberate the problem, the
root is that the job market is changing and anyone who wants a place in a 21st
Century market needs to be ready to change.
Shouldn't there be a difference between the FIRST comment to receive a like
and the TOP comment?
I need to make an important observation. It isn't just about making
'enough' engineers. Probably more important is providing the ones we
do have with a quality education. An engineering degree in a good school
doesn't make up for a substandard education in secondary school. I am
talking about geometry mainly, but this affects everything else. Geometry has
gone from being s subject where students prove theorems, i.e. understood why the
facts of geometry were true to a subject where facts are too often handed out,
what few proofs there are too often done in group settings rather than learning
how to do these proofs for themselves.This hole in the students
problem solving ability means that students are now less likely to derive
formulas they will be exposed to in later math classes and physics.
Scientists/Engineers should be adept at modeling phenomena and then describe the
phenomena mathematically.I suggest we return to a math curriculum
where students do proofs and are led to the point where they do challenging
problems. If not we will still graduate scientist and engineers but they
won't be as capable as they would have been otherwise.
Perhaps we ought to change the name locomotive engineer to locomotive
train-master. The loss of caboose made the engineer the master of all cars on
the railroad and not just the engine.
I guess I could have gone into engineering. I loved math and science. I got
A's in physics and calculus. Learning the PASCAL programming language was
a breeze. But sitting around in some boring cubicle solving problems
for someone else just didn't appeal to me. I wanted to become the most
sophisticated and respected behavioral engineer and programmer there is outside
of motherhood. I wanted to be a teacher. I knew the emotional rewards would
more than compensate for earning half that of an engineer.But
perhaps, as in education, you can't attract people to an engineering
profession with just money. They might want to be treated like they are more
than cogs in someone elses's machine.