Gillibrand says education agenda must stress more math and science


Saying that more than 25 percent of students across the state tested poorly in math and science last year, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced an education agenda intended to strengthen instruction in those areas to better prepare students for jobs in an increasingly technological era.

"America is home to the world's strongest economy, the greatest colleges and universities, and the world's brightest minds, Gillibrand said in releasing her agenda during a conference call with upstate news media last week.

"But if we're going to keep our place atop the global economy, we must prepare our students with the education they need for the jobs of the future."

That starts, she said, with sparking more interest in math, science and technology, drawing more STEM (science, technology and math) teachers to educate students in "high-need" areas and streamlining proficiency standards.

"We are relying on our children today to be the innovators of tomorrow," she said in a news release tied to the conference call. "It's our job to make sure they are prepared."

Gillibrand said high-tech is going to be the best growing industry and that her agenda includes:

-- The Engineering Education for Innovation Act, a targeted effort that would, among other things, integrate engineering education into K-12 classrooms, increase engineering and technology teacher preparation programs, and promote partnerships among K-12 school administrators and teachers and engineering professionals.

The legislation, she said, would create a three-year program to award grants for planning and implementation of engineering education into K-12 instruction and curriculum.

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