Immigration and the Nation’s Report Card

By May 28, 2006General

This week, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — famous for the “Nation’s Report Card“, issued the results of the National and State Science Assessment, a decidedly mixed bag. It showed, in summary, since 1996 an increase in the average scores for Grade 4, no change for Grade 8 and a slight decrease in grade 12. Of course we want to see increases in scores for all grades.

Way back in the end of August of last year when we published our annual Labor Day Report, we included this chart showing the growing disparity between engineering degrees here and in China. We also posted this chart showing the growing number of foreign nationals obtaining advanced degrees in math and science here on the US., While Congress is busy debating immigration, they should stare at these charts. We certainly want to narrow the gap between us and China in the number of engineers that we’re minting, as they are the lifeblood of innovation for manufacturers everywhere. But we also need to make sure that the foreign nationals who obtain advanced degrees in the areas where we need them most are able to stay in this country. Shipping them home to compete against us is just bad policy. We will continue to push for provisions in the final immigration bill that encourage the best and brightest to come to our shores and to stay. And in the meantime, we need to redouble our efforts to make sure we’re cranking out students with the abilities and the ambition to pursue these technical careers in college and beyond.

By the way, to see how your state ranked in the NAEP Report, click here.