Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

US education key to US national security

Dear Editor,

Washington Post Columns related to our nation’s education efforts by Kathleen Parker and George Will (Oct. 2, 2011) both neglected the most important aspect of educating young Americans in the post 9-11 era – national security.
Six months before 9-11 the Presidential bipartisan commission on National Security in the 21st Century, also known as the Hart/Rudmann Commission listed the top threats to our nation in the coming decades. Terrorism was the primary threat. They cited a deficit of math and science students graduating from our High Schools and Universities was the second greatest threat. First, these young people are critical to designing and operating our high tech weapons systems critical to maintaining our nation’s military superiority. Second, they are essential to creating other high tech commodities that will drive US economic growth so we can afford a large military. And last, but just as important, they will also design and run the high tech tools that will enable every aspect of our government to run effectively and efficiently, from infrastructure to tax collection.
Newt Gingrich was one of the seven Republicans on that unanimous commission. On the release of its final report shortly after Bush’s inauguration, Gingrich admitted eliminating the Department of Education was a bad idea. He went on to propose higher wages for math and science teachers, and even paying math and science students to attend class. The need for more language studies became immediately obvious on September 12, 2001.
I don’t think it was coincidental that our Founding Fathers made public education, free and compulsory and that Booker T. Washington claimed “There is no defense or security for any of us except in the highest intelligence and development of all.”

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