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Addressing the STEM Challenge by Expanding Specialty Math and Science High Schools

March 23, 2007View for printing

If America is to succeed in the innovation-powered global economy, boosting math and science skills will be critical. This is why a wide array of task forces and organizations has recently raised the clarion call for more and better scientists and engineers. While the policy proposals offered are wide ranging, one key policy innovation has surprisingly been largely ignored: the role of specialty math and science high schools.

Today, there are well over 100 of these high schools throughout the nation. And evidence shows that these schools are a powerful tool for producing high school graduates with a deep knowledge and strong passion for science and math that translates into much higher rates of college attendance and graduation in scientific fields.


By creating an environment focused more intensely on science and technology, these schools have been able to successfully enable students to study science and math, often at levels far beyond what students in conventional high schools are at; they can then go on to degrees in math and science at relatively high levels. It’s time to build upon this successful model and significantly expand the number and scope of our nation’s math and science specialty high schools.

Dr. Robert D. Atkinson, Dr. Janet Hugo, Dennis Lundgren, Dr. Martin J. Shapiro, and Dr. Jerald Thomas

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Rob and Terry Ryan and Hamilton High School - a successful collaboration. "We want to keep our kids here. We want to make our kids better thinkers." What can you do to help?
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