1 December 2010

An Even More Inconvenient Truth

Posted by Dan Satterfield

It’s called CAMM Worldwide. That stands for Connect A Million Minds.

The project was started by Time Warner and it’s based around a simple fact:

The U.S. now ranks 35th in Math and 29th in Science worldwide.

That means that your child’s above average grades in math and science are C’s and D’s compared to the rest of the industrialised world. As one scientist said recently, “China has more really smart kids, than the U.S. has kids.”

Why are American kids so far behind.

What do we do about it?

Those are the questions that CAMM is trying to answer. Take 15 minutes and watch the video.

Kudo’s to Time Warner for having the courage to do this.

If you’re a parent, think about the message you are sending to your kids. Not directly, but by your actions. What you think is important, they think is important.

Do you spend the evening watching an inane sit com, or do you have a good non fiction book by your chair? Do you subscribe to PEOPLE Magazine or National Geographic? Have you taken your kids to the symphony or your local science museum lately?

Polls continue to show that large percentages of Americans doubt the foundational theories of Biology and Earth Sciences. Climate researchers get death threats because their results are politically unpopular. One scientist is being targeted by the Attorney General in Virgina for the same reason.

Is all this why we are so far behind, or is it because we are so far behind?

I wonder…

Update: Spotted these facts courtesy of Thomas Friedman on David Appell’s blog QUARK SOUP:

Where America ranks today, from a recent column by Thomas Friedmann:

  • sixth in global innovation-based competitiveness, but 40th in rate of change over the last decade;
  • 11th among industrialized nations in the fraction of 25- to 34-year-olds who have graduated from high school;
  • 16th in college completion rate;
  • 22nd in broadband Internet access;
  • 24th in life expectancy at birth;
  • 27th among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving degrees in science or engineering;
  • 48th in quality of K-12 math and science education;
  • 29th in the number of mobile phones per 100 people.