The need is urgent for clear and transparent information about the workforce challenges threatening this nation’s economy. Policy made by anecdote is all too common. So is the belief that our own neighborhood schools are adequately preparing the workforce of the future. To address this misinformation, the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) has launched the new BHEF STEM Research and Policy Brief Series, which focuses on important dimensions of the education and workforce misalignment challenge facing the United States, with particular attention given to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.
The first two research briefs in the series examine 12th grade student interest and proficiency in STEM careers, using the analytic framework that BHEF first introduced in 2010 through its U.S. STEM Education Model. In particular, they address patterns in race and gender among STEM interested and proficient students, and highlight an important group of STEM-interested but not proficient students who should be the subject of focused interventions to improve their math proficiency.
Future briefs will explore women and STEM, including how to attract more women into STEM fields, and further examine the underrepresented minorities and STEM including recommendations to create a more diverse STEM workforce. We will tie these research briefs together with policy briefs that highlight what can be done to address these disturbing trends. You can read the first policy brief, Meeting the STEM Workforce Challenge, here.
Our goal at BHEF is always to equip senior business and education leaders with the information and tools they need to guide effective change, particularly around producing the workforce of the future. I believe the STEM Research and Policy Brief Series is an important resource to achieve this goal, and I hope you do too.