Saturday, February 11, 2006

What he says or what he does?

In the State of the Union address last month, President Bush called for more investment in mathematics and science. He called to train 70,000 teachers to teach higher level math and science and to double the physical science research budget to about $100 billion a year. He also made the case for stronger math programs at earlier grades and repeated his call to have trained mathematicians and scientists be adjunt teachers.

The impetus behind the president's call for more attention to education in math and science is reported in the NY Times (here, here, and especially here) and Washington Post to be the result of discusions with business leaders who fear the lack of such an investment will have dire economic impacts. The president who wants to "teach the controversy" of intellligent design to high school biology students, whose administration denies the existence of global warming, and who has severely limited stem cell research is swayed by an economic argument to invest in math and science. One can only wonder whether such an investment is worthwhile given the clear willingness of Mr. Bush and his administration to suppress and ignore science on so many fronts.