no stem shortage
What’s the truth about the shortage of STEM jobs and the CCSSI demands that education must focus on STEM?


What is the truth about STEM jobs in America?  It is not that Americans are not STEM literate and companies can’t find American workers for unfilled jobs.  You can read about the talking points perpetrated to advance the CCSSI agenda here and here and here.

Here’s another article related to the STEM falsehoods from the Chambers of Commerce and other NGOs pushing Common Core necessity for skilled workers.  From The San Diego Tribune and Foreign competitors in the next cubicle:

San Diegans already know full well that foreigners are competing for their jobs. They don’t need national politicians from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders telling them to worry.

Consider the recent blowback from layoff decisions of two prominent regional companies, Qualcomm and Southern California Edison.

The layoffs highlighted a controversial corner of immigration policy occupied by H-1B visas, which allow companies to hire foreign workers for up to six years in “specialty” occupations such as software, engineering, biotech or even fashion modeling.

Early this year, Edison began displacing about 500 information technology workers, about 100 voluntarily and 400 through layoffs. But their functions were outsourced to Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, two giant firms based in India.

Before they left, some workers were compelled to train their replacements, and some of them were foreign nationals working in the U.S.

The H-1B program “was supposed to be for projects and jobs that American workers could not fill,” one Edison worker told Computerworld, an IT news magazine. “But we’re doing our job. It’s not like they are bringing in these guys for new positions that nobody can fill. Not one of these jobs being filled by India was a job that an Edison employee wasn’t already performing.”


Maybe the reason the USDOEd wants to push CCSSI which requires ‘STEM training for all’, even with the fact that these jobs are being outsourced either overseas or to workers via H-1B visas, is for data retrieval.  If the USDOEd determines that ‘all students need STEM’ and ‘all students go to college’ policy, then it is appropriate (in the USDOEd’s blueprint) to then gather the ‘research’ needed to validate the policy.  It is immaterial that the policy is fallacious.  It opens the door for invasive data retrieval on students long after they graduate from an educational institution.  From the Federal Register Announcement of Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) Second Follow-up Main Study and 2018 Panel Maintenance:

Title of Collection: High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) Second Follow-up Main Study and 2018 Panel Maintenance.

OMB Control Number: 1850-0852.

Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 32,107.

Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 24,904.

Abstract: The High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) is a nationally representative, longitudinal study of more than 20,000 9th graders in 944 schools in 2009 who are being followed through their secondary and postsecondary years. The study focuses on understanding students’ trajectories from the beginning of high school into postsecondary education or the workforce and beyond. What students decide to pursue when, why, and how are crucial questions for HSLS:09, especially, but not solely, in regards to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses, majors, and careers. To date, HSLS:09 measured math achievement gains in the first 3 years of high school and, like past studies, surveyed students, their parents, school administrators, school counselors, and teachers. After the initial 2009 data collection, the main study students were re-surveyed in 2012 when most were high school 11th-graders, and again in 2013 when most had just graduated from high school. The second follow-up data collection will take place in early 2016, and will consist of a survey, postsecondary transcript collection, financial aid records collection, and file matching to extant data sources. The second follow-up focuses on postsecondary attendance patterns, field of study selection processes with particular emphasis on STEM, the postsecondary academic and social experience, education financing, employment history including instances of unemployment and underemployment, job characteristics including income and benefits, job values, family formation, and civic engagement. The HSLS:09 data elements are designed to support research that speaks to the underlying dynamics and education processes that influence student achievement, growth, and personal development over time. This request is to conduct the HSLS:09 Second Follow-up Main Study interviews in 2016, the transcript and student financial aid records collections in 2017, and panel maintenance activities in 2018.

Dated: August 25, 2015.

Stephanie Valentine,

Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.

[FR Doc. 2015-21342 Filed 8-27-15; 8:45 am]

Why is the Federal Government so concerned about student personal development over time?  Why is the USDOEd tracking student social experience?  What will happen if a governmental agency doesn’t think a student is engaging in the correct number of hours of civic experience or if it’s not the ‘right type’ of civic experience as desired by the government?

Rather than being so obsessed with student behaviors, attitudes and beliefs, if the USDOEd is determined to track human capital, it should refocus its research to track why 2 out of 3 Americans who hold STEM degrees don’t find jobs in the STEM field.  That is a critical underlying dynamic that influences students achievement, growth, and personal development over time.  If students can’t find a job because the jobs don’t exist, that should factor into government policy.  If the USDOEd performed valid research, it would admit that STEM jobs aren’t primarily for American students.  Those jobs are increasingly for outsourced workers in other countries and visa holders.  Taxpayers and politicians must reject the false claim that schools need CCSSI because the workforce needs more educated American students in STEM for highly paid jobs.  Even if American students could get those jobs in America, wages are depressed because of the workforce available outside America.  Global competition might be financially advantageous for the corporation who can pay less for more workers, but for the American student studying STEM and hoping to obtain a high paying job…not so much.

What are the chances that this research makes it into any Federal Government longitudinal study?  Probably slim to none.  It would disrupt the narrative of the Chamber of Commerce talking points on why we need STEM and Federal Government research.  The Chamber wants cheaper labor and the USDOEd wants research that validates the policy it supports.  The outsourcing/visa situation is antithetical to their goals.  From The San Diego Tribune:

Regardless of where talk of national reform ends up, the emotional power of the immigration issue seems unlikely to diminish.

For decades, workers have watched jobs disappear to foreign competitors inside and outside the U.S. And for years, pundits and politicians said boosting skills offered a path to job security.

Reality is more complex. Competition has arrived at the highest skill levels.

Increasingly, workers face the following stark choices: Settle for less money, or work harder and more skillfully than the guy coming for your job — or both.

Or you can wait for politicians to limit trade and immigration in ways that protect more jobs than they destroy. Given the dismal history of such measures, that could be a long wait.

(The opening graphic may be accessed here).


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