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SAS endorses STEM recommendations for boosting math and science outcomes

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CEO Goodnight calls for strengthened STEM learning nationwide.

Business analytics company SAS has endorsed the new “Vital Signs” reports that offer state-by-state recommendations on strengthening K-12 math and science to prepare students to compete globally. SAS CEO and founder Jim Goodnight urged state leaders to resist political pressure to lower expectations.

SAS is a member of Change the Equation, the national CEO-led science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coalition, which created the reports.

The Vital Signs reports compile critical data on the current condition of STEM learning in each state and the District of Columbia. They offer state-specific recommendations on how to boost student outcomes by concentrating on key areas such as improving results on state and national tests and targeting achievement gaps.

North Carolina’s analysis identified poor performance by fourth- and eighth-graders on national math tests. And while on par with the national average, only 57 percent of eighth-grade math and science teachers in North Carolina have majors or minors in math.

“Today’s employers are looking for workers who are proficient in science, technology, engineering and math, and they compensate well for that expertise,” Goodnight said. “Yet, the number of kids on the road to becoming STEM graduates remains well below the demand. We must address this alarming trend.”

SAS is a founder of the Triangle High Five Algebra Readiness Initiative, which helps mathematics teachers identify and engage in highly effective instructional practices as they address the disparities in mathematics achievement related to race and income.

Each state’s Vital Signs report contains data in six key areas of STEM learning: academic expectations, state standards and tests, student performance and achievement gaps, teaching and learning, preparing for and succeeding in college, and teacher quality.

Change the Equation is compiling more comprehensive data on STEM learning nationwide, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The coalition is planning to release additional Vital Signs reports to ensure that every student has the opportunity for a STEM education equal to the best in the world.

Copies of each report and more information about the work of Change the Equation can be found on its website, www.changetheequation.org.

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