Can We Legislate More Smart People?
from the good-luck-with-that-plan dept
While it’s a good thing that politicians are starting to recognize that the US education system isn’t churning out science and engineering grads as well as other countries any more, it’s not clear how they can fix that by legislation. They’re trying to create a new law that will help solve the issue, but it sounds like treating the symptoms rather than the problem. They’re coming up with some very specific ways specifically designed to look at encouraging more students to go into scientific and engineering fields — but that won’t matter if the jobs aren’t there or don’t look appealing. The way to get more students to get these types of degrees is to make jobs in those fields look appealing, which means encouraging innovation, encouraging a “tinkering” culture and getting people excited about technology and science by letting them explore and learn — not by locking them down under obsolete business models where only incumbents can thrive. Naming ten communities as “innovation hot spots” doesn’t seem as likely to do the trick.