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Report: Poor Science Education Impairs ­.s. Economy

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"Rising Above the Gathering Storm," a new report released before a U.S. Congressional committee, found little improvement in U.S. elementary and secondary technical education since 2005, when an earlier report spurred moves to double federal research funding. The report says that stagnant scientific education imperils U.S. economic leadership. "The current economic crisis makes the link between education and employment very clear," says the National Center for Science Education's Steven Newton.

The report notes that U.S. K-12 education in mathematics and science ranks 48th worldwide, and that China has replaced the United States as the world's top high-technology exporter. The report says that if U.S. students matched Finland's in math and science achievement, the U.S. economy could grow as much as 16 percent.

"The real point is that we have to have a well-educated workforce to create opportunities for young people," says the National Academy of Engineering's Charles Vast.

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