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Gaining Momentum, Losing Ground


"Tapping America's Potential (TAP), a coalition of 16 business organizations, recently released a report assessing three years' progress in working towards the TAP goal of doubling the number of students earning bachelor's degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by 2015. The TAP progress report, "Gaining Momentum, Losing Ground," indicates that despite growing support for the TAP agenda in recent years, little real progress has been made toward the goal of doubling the number of students earning bachelor's degrees in STEM subjects. The number of STEM degrees awarded to undergraduate students has only increased by 24,000, to 225,000 -- a number that is not on track to meet the TAP goal of reaching 400,000 by 2015. ...The report includes progress updates on the TAP coalition's agenda to advance U.S. competitiveness in STEM through:

  • Boosting and sustaining funding for basic research, especially in the physical sciences and engineering

  • Reforming visa and immigration policies to enable the United States to attract and retain STEM students from around the world to study for advanced degrees and stay to work in the United States

  • Upgrading K-12 math and science teaching to foster higher student achievement, including differentiated pay scales for mathematics and science teachers
  • Building public understanding and support for making improvement in STEM performance a national priority"